Eastern Destiny: Russia in Asia and the North Pacific

Eastern Destiny: Russia in Asia and the North Pacific

Eastern Destiny: Russia in Asia and the North Pacific

Eastern Destiny: Russia in Asia and the North Pacific

Synopsis

Eastern Destiny: Russia in Asia and the North Pacific is the history of a remarkable eastern expansion under tsars, emperors, and commissars. The narrative spans the period from the Mongol conquest in the 13th century to the Cold War of the 20th. An intense anxiety for security, owed in large part to the Mongol incursion, would impel the eastern Slavs relentlessly toward territorial aggrandizement. Over the centuries, the modest Grand Duchy of Moscow in Eastern Europe was so successful that it grew into the massive Russian Empire, whose lands stretched from the Holy Roman Empire in Central Europe to the edge of British power in the wilds of North America.

Excerpt

This work is essentially an effort to present, in one volume, a coherent story of Russian eastward expansion. the desirability of such a book became apparent to the author while teaching a course for several years on the history of Russia in Asia and the North Pacific. Whereas many published works are available on certain facets of the subject, such as Siberia, Central Asia, Sino-Russian relations, or Russian Alaska, no offerings furnish any sort of wide perspective of the overall saga. This volume should properly be viewed as an outline history. in one volume, one could pretend to do no more on such a vast subject.

What is set forth herein is no attempt at original analysis but rather a rational narrative based on well-known works by a wide variety of experts in the field. That is not to say that in many instances primary sources in Russian and English have not been regularly consulted. However, since the subject is so broad in scope and the general facts are reasonably well known, the story presented does not require meticulous footnoting for attribution. For further perusal, a suggested reading list including the works of many of these experts is provided in lieu of a more formal bibliography. On the assumption that the readership will be primarily American, only English titles of reasonably available books have been included.

In recounting the tale of Russian expansion in this volume, a special effort has been made to describe the setting for the geographical areas of expansion. Brief historical background is provided not only for the Russians but also for the Mongols and other Central Asians, the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Koreans. At the same time, care is taken to ensure a feel for the conflicting aims of other European powers in East Asia and the North Pacific, including the shores of North America, whose interests were seen as threatened by Russian expansion.

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