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  • A book of immense scholarship and engaging readability. Through an eastern window rarely opened to Western gaze, it illuminates the end of Europe's old order and the explosive start of the twentieth century. A century later, we are still struggling with this era's epic legacies.

    David Reynolds, author of The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century
  • Not just one of the greatest historians on Russia, but also a great writer

    Antony Beevor, The Independent
  • With its important new evidence about Russia's slide towards war, this is a much-needed account of a how a few clever but foolish men ruined their country and brought disaster on themselves

    Victor Sebestyen, Sunday Times
  • Aristocratic values, imperial mindsets and the emergence of modern nationalisms are the big themes of this illuminating history of late tsarist Russia by Lieven... he writes with all the clarity, conviction and fluent command of sources that readers have come to expect of him

    Tony Barber, Financial Times
  • This magnificent book, lively in perceptions and bristling with empirical novelty, traces the origins of the Russian-German rivalry. It is a pleasure to read

    Robert Service, Literary Review
  • [Lieven's] intimate familiarity with the Russia he describes and his extensive study of the letters, diaries and books of the chief actors in Russia's descent "towards the flames" - many not hitherto accessible to historians - are what render this book so authoritative and readable

    Serge Schmemann, The New York Times
  • Lieven presents Russia's road to war and revolution as a classical tragedy - a fate driven by the character of both the country and its rulers... [he] recovers a world that has been lost

    William Anthony Hay, The Wall Street Journal
  • Lieven has a double gift: first, for harvesting details to convey the essence of an era and, second, for finding new, startling, and clarifying elements in familiar stories. This is history with a heartbeat, and it could not be more engrossing

    Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
  • Illuminating history of late tsarist Russia. Lieven writes with all the clarity, conviction and fluent command of sources that readers have come to expect of him

    Tony Barber, FT

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