By Robert Auty, Dimitri Obolensky
An creation, entire in a single quantity, to the background of Russia from medieval instances to the autumn of Khrushchev and past. A learn of the geographical environment within which the Russian nation grew to its current super-power prestige is through 5 chapters which debate the political, social, and financial heritage of the rustic, and 4 ultimate chapters research respectively the position of the Church, Soviet executive and politics, the financial system of the Soviet country, and the diplomacy of the USSR. each one bankruptcy has been especially commissioned for this quantity, and the writers are stated specialists of their fields. each bankruptcy is through a advisor to extra examining. this is often possibly the main finished and authoritative collaborative heritage of Russia but to seem. it will likely be learn as a continuing account, and also will be consulted as a customary reference consultant in libraries of universities, schools, and faculties anyplace Russian and Soviet historical past, ecu heritage, and diplomacy are studied. It varieties the 1st a part of the three-volume spouse to Russian reviews, the 2 different elements of which take care of Russian language and literature, and Russian paintings and structure respectively.
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Additional info for Companion to Russian Studies: Volume 1: An Introduction to Russian History
F. Vasyutin, and Ya. G. Feigin, Economic Geography of the USSR, English language edn, C. D. Harris, ed. (New York, 1949), although doctrinaire in many ways and now obviously out of date, is still a very thorough survey of the location of economic activities on the eve of the Second World War. N. N. Baransky, Economic Geography of the USSR (Moscow, 1956) is a translation of a carefully done, in general objective, and primarily regionally organized survey; the last edition of the most widely used secondary-school textbook for several decades.
The first category is also the oldest, being made up of well-established centres of market-oriented, labour-intensive industries. Moscow and Leningrad are obviously the most important of these, depending heavily on political patronage, invested capital, and a reserve - particularly precious in the early Soviet period - of skill and literacy. In the case of Moscow the city's central position in earlier times at the hub of the river system has been succeeded by a similar position with regard to the railways and now to the pipelines, so that high-value manufacturing, depending on skill and assembly of varied raw materials, can thrive.
In terms of output of food, energy, and industrial raw materials, this spine runs from the Ukraine directly to the middle Volga and on to the Urals and central Siberia, following the black-earth area most of the way. However, a glance at Map 12 (pp. 32-3) makes it clear that any such spine is deflected en route toward the Moscow region, which in any realistic reckoning must be included in it. Thus the Ukraine-Moscow-Baykal zone, including five of the ten regions described above, accounts for some three-quarters of the country's urban population (almost all Slavs), as well as of its agricultural and industrial output, and an even greater share of the accessible industrial resources.