The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians

Front Cover
Cornell University Press, 2007 - History - 500 pages
3 Reviews
"In The Conquest of a Continent, the historian W. Bruce Lincoln details Siberia's role in Russian history, one remarkably similar to that of the frontier in the development of the United States. . . . It is a big, panoramic book, in keeping with the immensity of its subject."--Chicago Tribune"Lincoln is a compelling writer whose chapters are colorful snapshots of Siberia's past and present. . . . The Conquest of a Continent is a vivid narrative that will inform and entertain the broader reading public."--American Historical Review"This story includes Genghis Khan, who sent the Mongols warring into Russia; Ivan the Terrible, who conquered Siberia for Russia; Peter the Great, who supported scientific expeditions and mining enterprises; and Mikhail Gorbachev, whose glasnost policy prompted a new sense of 'Siberian' nationalism. It is also the story of millions of souls who themselves were conquered by Siberia. . . . Vast riches and great misery, often intertwined, mark this region."--The Wall Street JournalStretching from the Urals to the Arctic Ocean to China, Siberia is so vast that the continental United States and Western Europe could be fitted into its borders, with land to spare. Yet, in only six decades, Russian trappers, cossacks, and adventurers crossed this huge territory, beginning in the 1580s a process of conquest that continues to this day. As rich in resources as it was large in size, Siberia brought the Russians a sixth of the world's gold and silver, a fifth of its platinum, a third of its iron, and a quarter of its timber. The conquest of Siberia allowed Russia to build the modern world's largest empire, and Siberia's vast natural wealth continues to play a vital part in determining Russia's place in international affairs.Bleak yet romantic, Siberia's history comes to life in W. Bruce Lincoln's epic telling. The Conquest of a Continent, first published in 1993, stands as the most comprehensive and vivid account of the Russians in Siberia, from their first victories over the Mongol Khans to the environmental degradation of the twentieth century. Dynasties of incomparable wealth, such as the Stroganovs, figure into the story, as do explorers, natives, gold seekers, and the thousands of men and women sentenced to penal servitude or forced labor in Russia's great wilderness prisonhouse.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Terrific information exactly what I was hot on the trail information wise.

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Cheesy and over-dramatised rendition of better works from decades ago, based on the on-line preview. Examples:
-Dezhnev's boats were terrible-but they were certainly good enough to do the job. They
were also specially engineered works of art designed to be flexible and resilient, rather than stiff and brittle as pinned or nailed hull boats with keels would be, and they were superior to skin boats in that they didn't have to be hauled out for days at a time. The sails may have been deerskin but it is certainly possible that they were cloth, and depending upon how they were rigged they could sail closer to the wind than a simple parachute sail. This is just lazy scholarship that buys into old stereotypes and prejudices.
-People lived on the frontier in squalorous little cabins full of stink and fumes. Sorry, but in real life these people used the sauna (banya) frequently and kept smelly things segregated in outbuildings.
-Treatment of women as depicted in chapter 11 comes straight out of a penny dreadful. Sounds like Cold War propaganda to me, especially when one considers that women have frequently been present in greater numbers than men, thanks to wars with Mongols, Britain, and Germany. The man may be the head but the woman is the neck that turns it.
This book has a lot of awfulness in it. You would be far better served to read Fisher.
 

Contents

The Fury of God
3
Batus Winter War
17
On Kulikovo Field
24
The Russians Take Siberia
31
Ermaks Conquest
41
The Siberians
48
To the Great Ocean
57
Searching for Grain
64
Building the Worlds Longest Railroad
231
Amur River Boats and Russias Manchurian Connection
239
Lake Baikal
246
A Small Victorious War
250
The Immigrants
257
Siberias Wild East
263
The Lena Goldfields Massacre
270
Before the Storm
281

Discovering a Passage Between Two Continents
73
Life on the Siberian Frontier
81
The Demidovs Frontier Iron and Tsar Peter
93
Berings First Voyage
100
The Great Northern Expedition
107
The Russians Discover America
122
The Russian Columbus
134
At the Threshold of a New Era
143
The Largest Part of the Russian Empire
150
GovernorGeneral Speranskii
155
Katorga and Ssylka
163
Two Princesses
168
Dostoevskii in the House of the Dead
177
The Search for Gold
183
Muravev Takes the Amur
190
Kennans Journey
197
The Politicals
207
By Administrative Process
211
Lenin in Exile
216
An Iron Road Across Asia
223
War and Revolution
287
The Czech Legion
297
Pitchforked into the Melee
304
The Bolsheviks Take Siberia
318
Jack Scott and Siberias Magnetic Mountain
324
Edible Fossils
332
Socialist Reconstruction
350
The Great Relocation
358
Siberias Modern
365
Virgin Lands
371
Bratsk Power Station
378
The BAM
385
The Riches of Samotlor and Urengoi
393
Siberias Soviet Heritage
400
Acknowledgments
411
Notes
417
Works and Sources Cited
461
Index
479
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 466 - The Dark Side of the Moon with a preface by TS ELIOT...

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2007)

W. Bruce Lincoln held the title of Distinguished Research Professor of Russian History at Northern Illinois University

Bibliographic information