The conquest of a continent: Siberia and the Russians

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Random House, 1994 - History - 500 pages
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This epic of adventure, heroism, discovery, exploitation, and almost unimaginable cruelty is perhaps unrivaled in human history. It is a sweeping account of the conquest of a formidable landmass millions of square miles bigger than the United States, a story of tremendous human adventure, military exploits, economic power, and geographic discovery. A virtual continent, Siberia contains the world's wildest frontier and its richest storehouse of natural resources. From the time Attila the Hun stormed out of Asia to terrorize Europe, and the fierce Mongol chieftain Chingis Khan shaped an empire larger than the Soviet Union, here are the rulers, statesmen, explorers, and convicts who took part in the saga of the nations and empires that formed their destinies in the vast forests and steppes of Eurasia. The Conquest of a Continent brings to life entrepreneurs such as the Stroganovs and the Demidovs, founders of two great merchant dynasties that dominated Siberia at the time of Peter the Great. It tells of the great explorers like Bering, who led the Russians to Alaska in a voyage that ranks as one of the most trying in the annals of the eighteenth century. It tells how Siberia became a haven for trappers, Cossacks, and peasant settlers seeking a better life - but more dramatically, it also recounts the sufferings of millions of political exiles and convict laborers, an indelible story of human depravity that runs like a dark thread across the last four hundred years of Siberia's history. The conquest of Siberia was an undertaking that boggles the imagination. Just the building of the Trans-Siberian railroad is an epic without parallel. Although the Russians have exploited its natural wealthfor centuries, Siberia remains virtually unknown to Europeans and Americans except as the land of Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago", an ice-bound prison of forced labor and death. Most Westerners do not know that Siberia contains four rivers larger than the Mississippi or that a sixth of the world's gold and silver, a fifth of its platinum, a quarter of its timber, and a third of its iron and manganese lie within it. Nor do they know that modern Siberia contains cities the size of Dallas, New Orleans, Boston, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, or that it boasts some of the most fertile grainfields on the Eurasian continent. Using a rich array of sources never examined together before - major research collections in St. Petersburg and Moscow, as well as those in Paris, London, and the United States - Bruce Lincoln has written a superb chronicle of an extraordinary, mind-defying undertaking.

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Review: The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians

User Review  - Jonnie Enloe - Goodreads

Excellent rendition of Russian History from about 1450 to 1985. As pretains to Siberia, a particularly good narrative with insight into the indigenous people from the Urals to Alaska. Long read if you absorb material and reference other books. Read full review

Contents

The Fury of God
3
Batus Winter War
17
On Kulikovo Field
24
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

W. Bruce Lincoln is Distinguished Research Professor of Russian history at Northern Illinois University.

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