A Short History of Russia

Although this was originally due out in the UK at the end of April with Ebury (Penguin), as a minor example of COVID-19 collateral damage, this release has been pushed back to February 2021 after the anticipated autumn glut. However, it is due to come out in the USA on 7 July 2020 with Hanover Square (Harlequin).

Just as a trailer, I do link below to three short promotional videos I shot in Moscow earlier this year. (One-shot takes, just on a phone, so don’t expect undue professionalism, and apologies for the poor sound quality…)

Nonetheless, I’m still looking forward to it being published and hope people will find it useful, informative and even entertaining. It’ll be out as a hardback, an e-book and also an audiobook.

Here’s the blurb:

Can anyone truly understand Russia? Let one of the world’s leading experts show you how, using the fascinating history of a nation to illuminate its future.

Russia is a country with no natural borders, no single culture, no true central identity. At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, it is everyone’s ‘other’. And yet it is one of the most powerful nations on earth, a master game-player on the global stage with a rich history of war and peace, poets and revolutionaries.

In this essential whistle-stop tour of the world’s most misunderstood nation, Mark Galeotti takes us behind the myths to the heart of the Russian story: from the formation of a nation to its early legends – including Ivan the Terrible and Catherine the Great – to the rise and fall of the Romanovs, the Russian Revolution, the Cold War, Chernobyl and the end of the Soviet Union – plus the arrival of an obscure politician named Vladimir Putin.

Videos

Reviews

“Galeotti’s book is a fantastic read. It is insightful and leaves the reader wanting more in the best of ways. The Russia that comes out of A Short History is vastly more complex and vastly more interesting than the over-simplistic Russia portrayed in the media and that which is often presented to westerners.” – Joshua Huminski in the Diplomatic Courier.

“Experts may balk at Galeotti’s self-acknowledged “broad brush”…, but he often finds clarity through concision and down-to-earth prose. This is an accessible and illuminating summary of how modern Russia came to be.”  – Publishers’ Weekly

“That is why a book like this is necessary. It divides truth from probable fiction while still explaining why the fiction was originally seen as necessary. It explains … how Russia invented itself… in this short history, Galeotti balances depth with breadth” – Jason Park in Medium

“…skilled Russia analyst Mark Galeotti focuses less on unpacking the thematic cycles of Russian history than on packing in an overview of its leaders. And he crams it all into 216 pages—particularly useful for those seeking to dip their toe into Russian political history.” – Theodore Bunzel in Airmail

“If you want a survey of Russian history from alpha to omega, then Galeotti’s is the obvious choice. Its style is also the lightest, making it probably the easiest and most enjoyable read” – Paul Robinson, in Irrusionality.

“[A]n intriguing book … . The Russia expert takes you through the history of Putin’s domain. How he can draw an accessible line in 224 pages between heroes like Vladimir the Great to the Cold War and the rise of Vladimir Putin is impressive. Many such history books get lost in the details, resulting in bulky Bibles. Galeotti excels in keeping his book accessible and small, an achievement of considerable size. Mandatory food for every news junkie.” – Manners magazine [in Dutch, of the Dutch edition]

Articles and Interview

A Short History of Russia took the “Page 99 Test” courtesy of the Campaign for the American Reader

I was interviewed about the book and “The Entire History of Russia in One Hour” for the Angry Planet podcast

Foreign Editions

These are the translated editions agreed so far and the respective publishers. I don’t yet know when any will come out. If you’re a publisher and interested, do get in touch with the Penguin Random House rights team!

Bulgarian: Ciela

Czech: Leda

Dutch: Prometheus [released]

Estonian: Eesti Raamat

French: Flammarion

Greek: Patakis

Korean: Miraebook Publishing

Lithuanian: Briedis

Romanian: Humanitas

Slovak: Ikar

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