||The bear phantasmagoria : did history create the Russia anxiety? -- The destiny problem : what's the alternative to the 'black legend' of Russia's history? -- The narrative correction : what's really happened in the last 6,000 years? -- The dictatorship deception : does Russia's past offer democratic prospects? -- The terror moment : is Russia built on a history of violence? -- The Europe question : has Russia ever been part of the west? -- The empire relationship : is expansionism in Russia's DNA? -- The invader obsession : does history make Russians seek peace or war? -- The Stalin inheritance : should Russians remember the past or forget it? -- The Putin prospect : is Russia's future contained in her past?
||"With proof of election-meddling and the relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin an ongoing conundrum, little wonder many Americans are experiencing what historian Mark B. Smith calls "the Russia Anxiety." This is no new phenomenon. Time and time again, the West has judged Russia on assumptions of its inherent cunning, malevolence, and brutality. Yet for much of its history, Russia functioned no differently-or at least no more dysfunctionally-than other absolutist, war-mongering European states. So what is it about this country that so often provokes such excessive responses? And why is this so dangerous? Russian history can indeed be viewed as a catalog of brutal violence, in which a rotation of secret police-from Ivan the Terrible's Oprichina to Andropov's KGB and Putin's FSB-hold absolute sway. However, as Smith shows, there are nevertheless deeper political and cultural factors that could lead to democratic outcomes. Violence is not an innate element of Russian culture, and Russia is not unknowable. From foreign interference and cyber-attacks to mega-corruption and nuclear weapons, Smith uses Russia's sprawling history to throw light on contemporary concerns. Smith reveals how the past has created today's Russia and how this past offers hints about its future place in the world-one that reaches beyond crisis and confrontation"-- Provided by publisher.
|Bibliography note||Includes bibliographical references and index.|
|Source of description||Description based on print version record.|
|Issued in other form||Original 9780190886059 0190886056|
|ISBN||9780190886066 (electronic bk.)|
|ISBN||0190886064 (electronic bk.)|