Russia; A 1,000 Year Chronicle...by Martin Sixsmith
Sixsmith, long-time BBC Moscow correspondent, shows how Russia's complex identity has been forged over a millenium. From the adoption of the Cyrillic alphabet in the 10th century through the Mongol conquest of their land in 1240 through the tsars and the Tartars then the revolution of 1917 that ended the monarchy and brought Lenin and the Bolsheviks and Communism to power. That autocracy continued through Stalin then stagnated through several successors until recent history brought Gorbachev and Yeltsin and a brief experiment toward freedom via glasnost then a skirmish with capitalism which failed miserably to be replaced with the beginnings of another wave of autocracy under Putin. 500 pages that will make you thankful for the location of your birth in the US of A.