19 best books on Russian history

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

All those who want to learn better about the past of their country, the order and traditions of those centuries should buy books on the history of Russia. We have compiled a list of the best publications, which deal with the main episodes in the life of our state. The rating includes the great works of famous personalities, the significance of which is confirmed not only by the reviews of readers, but also by the opinions of respected critics.

Rating of the best books on the history of Russia

Nomination a place Name of product rating
Rating of the best books on the history of Russia 1 Illustrated Russian History, Vasily Klyuchevsky 4.9
2 History of the Russian State, N.M. Karamzin 4.8
3 Young Russia, Yuri German 4.8
4 HISTORY OF RUSSIA FROM ANCIENT TIMES, S. M. Soloviev 4.7
5 Slavs. Old Russian people. Historical and archaeological research, Valentin Sedov 4.7
6 Part of Europe. History of the Russian state. From the origins to the Mongol invasion, Boris Akunin 4.7
7 The history of Russia from Rurik to Putin. People. Events. Dates', Evgeny Anisimov 4.6
8 Dynasty without make-up, Edward Radzinsky 4.6
9 HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN NATION, P. N. Milyukov 4.5
10 THE STATES OF MOSCOW, D. Balashov 4.5
11 FROM RUSSIA TO RUSSIA, Lev Gumilev 4.5
12 Diaries of the Romanov princesses. Ruined lives 4.5
13 ALEXANDER I AND THE DECABRISTS: RUSSIA IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE XIX CENTURY. CHOICE OF WAY 4.5
14 Two Ways of Russia, Richard Pipes 4.4
15 Choosing your story. Forks on the path of Russia: from Rurik to oligarchs, Igor Kurukin, Irina Karatsuba, Nikita Sokolov 4.4
16 Genghis Khan, Vasily Yan 4.4
17 A word about Igor's regiment, unknown author 4.3
18 Historical miniatures, Valentin Pikul 4.2

Illustrated Russian History, Vasily Klyuchevsky

Rating: 4.9

Illustrated Russian history

The rating opens with a book by Vasily Klyuchevsky, which is a classic work accompanied by a huge number of unique illustrations (more than 800). This is great creativity. Modern readers and lovers of Russian history are proud of him. Vasily Osipovich covered in his work the period from ancient times to the era of Alexander II. All text is divided into small parts, it is easy and convenient to read. It is a succinct summary of the historian's lectures and retains all the important details. The narrative is inherent in fiction and is not devoid of dates and facts.

The owners of the book are delighted with the colorful illustrations, among which there are reproductions of famous paintings. Readers are advised to acquire a source of knowledge for schoolchildren and university students, as well as those who want to learn more about the past of the country.

History of the Russian State, N.M. Karamzin

Rating: 4.8

History of Russian Goverment

The first integral work about the past of the Fatherland is considered to be the History of the Russian State, written by the greatest writer Nikolai Mikhailovich. The author is known all over the world as a language reformer in the literary genre. It was Karamzin who showed the history of the state as it is to the general public. For the society of that time, the book was a real discovery.

In his work, the author does not appear as a historian. He describes fateful facts, caring for eloquence and not drawing inferences from events. His syllable is light, clear and original. The multivolume work describes incidents from ancient times to the period of Troubles. It is a pity that the writer did not manage to finish his work, which today has 12 volumes.

Young Russia, Yuri German

Rating: 4.8

Young Russia, Yuri German

Unlike other participants in the rating, the book “Young Russia” tells about the history of the Fatherland specifically during the time of Peter the Great. It very interestingly describes the heroes and how they changed, becoming statesmen. In the novel, the themes of betrayal by high-ranking officials, plans of foreigners to destroy Russia are sounded.

Reading the work, you are imbued with pride for the people, for those people who defended the Motherland. It becomes bitter from injustice, heavy from suffering and grief of people. In 1981, a film based on this book was released. The novel is advised to be read by many lovers of Russian history.

HISTORY OF RUSSIA FROM ANCIENT TIMES, S. M. Soloviev

Rating: 4.7

HISTORY OF RUSSIA FROM ANCIENT TIMES

A series of books by Sergei Solovyov is considered a fundamental work. It was created from 1851 to 1879. There are 29 volumes in total. This is the most important work of a writer's life. The final volume, however, was released after his death. It describes the times of the signing of the peace treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. All material is based on real data.

In terms of completeness of presentation, the book “History of Russia from Ancient Times” is the richest repository of facts. It contains events of the 23rd centuries. Soloviev's work is often compared to Karamzin's book.

Slavs. Old Russian people. Historical and archaeological research, Valentin Sedov

Rating: 4.7

Slavs.  Old Russian people

The next participant in the rating is a monograph that examines the Slavs at the time of linguistic and ethnic unity. It was written by V. Sedov – laureate of the state prize of Russia. The source of knowledge covers a fairly long period of time. It analyzes the picture of the founding of lands by the Slavs, examines the processes of the formation of an ethnic group. From this work, you can find out why and how the situation developed in which the Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian peoples were formed.

Readers note that this edition is one of the best works among the Russian-language stories about the Slavs. The information in the book is thorough and painstakingly selected. It is written in strict scientific language. It is recommended to everyone who is attracted by history.

Part of Europe. History of the Russian state. From the origins to the Mongol invasion, Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.7

Part of Europe.  History of the Russian state

The next piece has some distinctive features. First, it was written for people who know little about the history of Russia and want to understand it. Akunin was educated as a historian and wrote many novels. To understand why and how the country turned out exactly the way it is, he read hundreds of sources and put them into a whole picture. The second feature of the book is the absence of any concept. There is no opinion of the writer in it, only real facts, questions and answers to them.

This work is the history of a state, not a country. After all, it is precisely this that is the cause of all troubles and gains. This work was written to understand what is properly arranged in the country and what is lacking.

The history of Russia from Rurik to Putin. People. Events. Dates', Evgeny Anisimov

Rating: 4.6

Russian history from Rurik to Putin

There are no vague facts and no nameless heroes from history in this book. It was created by Anisimov, Doctor of Historical Sciences, winner of an international prize in the field of local history. The work has a rather original structure. Along with the alternate presentation of facts, it contains the chapters “Dates”, “Events” and “People”. Each page tells about a certain historical episode, personalities popular in those years. You can read the story from almost any moment. You won't be bored with such a source of knowledge.

It seemed to some readers that the printed matter was more written for the West. There is information in it that does not quite coincide with the real facts. Most likely, the author has his own opinion on specific episodes. Therefore, the book is not recommended as a tutorial.

Dynasty without make-up, Edward Radzinsky

Rating: 4.6

Dynasty without makeup, Edward Radzinsky

It's no secret that Edward Radzinsky managed to make the history of the state exciting and fascinating. The Dynasty Without Makeup series consists of 12 books. They are all written in clear language. The famous writer tells the story of great revolutions and heads of state. The books make you plunge into the era of Russian rulers and learn many secrets about the life of tsars and queens, princes and industrialists, opens your eyes to little-known facts.

According to readers' reviews, films based on the works of the playwright make an equally impressive impression. Filming took place in museum-reserves and the State Hermitage. The edition will be a great addition to the collection.

HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN NATION, P. N. Milyukov

Rating: 4.5

HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN NATION, P. N. Milyukov

The next participant in the rating is the work of Pavel Milyukov, a Russian politician, historian and publicist. In 1917 he became Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Government. His book talks about the role of the Russian faith, culture, education and religion. The author tells about the European way of development, assigns a huge role to the state in creating a prosperous society. Milyukov was at the epicenter of social movements and historical events that shook the empire at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, so reading the book will be even more interesting.

Fans of the publication say that this work is for people who like to think and learn everything new. Reading is a great pleasure. This is a wonderful gift for history buffs.

THE STATES OF MOSCOW, D. Balashov

Rating: 4.5

THE STATES OF MOSCOW, D. Balashov

The 'Tsars of Moscow' edition has collected a whole book series dedicated to Russian history. The earliest book, The Youngest Son, tells about the events unfolding during the struggle for the throne between the Nevsky brothers. The second work, The Great Table, deals with the conflicts between the Tver and Moscow principalities at the beginning of the 14th century. The third edition of 'Burden of Power' tells about the time of Ivan Kalita's reign.

In total, Balashov's enormous work contains 11 books. From them you can learn about the years of the reign of Dmitry Donskoy and the battle on the Kulikovo field, Sergius of Radonezh and the life of Metropolitan Alexy. The series ends with the publication “Will and Power” about the reign of Vasily the First. For this cycle, the talented writer was awarded the Literary Prize. L. Tolstoy in 1996.

FROM RUSSIA TO RUSSIA, Lev Gumilev

Rating: 4.5

FROM RUSSIA TO RUSSIA, Lev Gumilev

One of the most important works of the writer Gumilyov is the book 'From Russia to Russia', which covers the national history of the Fatherland. It contains events from the first century, they end with the 18th century. The text is written in a lively and concise language. Each reader will be able to grasp the main idea of ​​the work and read it to the end with enthusiasm.

In total, there are three parts in the work – 'Kiev State', 'In Alliance with the Horde', 'The Kingdom of Moscow'. The book seems to be a continuation of the publication 'Ancient Russia and the Great Steppe'. It allows you to take a fresh look at many things in history, become closer to your people and feel the spirit of that time.

Diaries of the Romanov princesses. Ruined lives

Rating: 4.5

Diaries of the Romanov princesses.  Ruined lives

Next in the ranking is an excellent biographical account of the Romanov princesses. This is a very touching and enjoyable book with a fascinating and lively plot. She reveals the history of the royal family in the smallest details, which are taken from several sources and skillfully combined into one. Helen Rappaport focuses on events in the royal life, the story of death is omitted. This gives the reader the opportunity to leave an image of wonderful young girls in his head.

Fans of the book say that many things have shocked and surprised them. They had to go online to find out more about a character or an incident. Pleased with many beautiful photos. The beautiful half of humanity will especially like the book.

ALEXANDER I AND THE DECABRISTS: RUSSIA IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE XIX CENTURY. CHOICE OF WAY

Rating: 4.5

ALEXANDER I AND THE DECABRISTS

The next book will appeal to anyone interested in history. It reveals many interesting facts that help to better understand the events of past years. The uprising of the Decembrists is scheduled by the minute, a lot of attention is paid to domestic and foreign policy. The work was written by archivist and professor Sergei Mironenko. At the end of the story, the author answers the question “Why did the reforms fail?”

More than 80 percent of the information in the text is archival materials, published memoirs. It is difficult to pass by this piece. However, for those who have not read anything similar, it may not be too interesting.

Two ways of Russia, Richard Pipes

Rating: 4.4

Two ways of Russia, Richard Pipes

The world owes the appearance of the next book to an American historian. Richard Pipes has written many works and articles on the topic of the Soviet Union and the problems of modern life in our country. In his opinion, Russians consider themselves separated from society, are constantly looking for a model of behavior and compensate for their confusion with aggressive actions.

The author dwells on the following questions – how to abandon the previous model of government, how to correctly conduct foreign policy. The owners of the book say that reading the texts is very interesting. Everyone will have their own opinion on the point of view of Pipes, and how can we go without it.

Choosing your story. Forks on the path of Russia: from Rurik to oligarchs, Igor Kurukin, Irina Karatsuba, Nikita Sokolov

Rating: 4.4

Choosing your story

The next participant in the rating is compared with difficulty 'History of Russia. End or new beginning? '. Indeed, both books were written by three authors, approximately equal in volume and tell about the history of Russia. Unlike Akhiezer's edition, this work is a conscientious retelling of facts with minimal conclusions.

The authors have collected the most significant episodes that turned the development of the state in a different direction. From their story, one can imagine where our people would come if they chose a different path. Readers say that there are too many details and trifles in the book that you can hardly remember.

Genghis Khan, Vasily Yan

Rating: 4.4

Genghis Khan, Vasily Yan

Vasily Young's book is rightfully considered one of the best works about Genghis Khan. Its author is a renowned publicist, travel lover and a person who is seriously interested in history. Its publication is still the object of attention and is wildly popular with famous directors and people engaged in creative activities. Many films have been shot based on this novel, whole operas have been staged.

The book reliably describes the facts, there is a lot of interesting information, including about the culture of the Mongols. Some readers admit that they liked Kalashnikov's novel The Cruel Age more. In it, Genghis Khan is shown not as a savage, but as a cruel warrior-commander. The character of Vasily Young seemed unnatural to them.

A word about Igor's regiment, unknown author

Rating: 4.3

A word about Igor's regiment, unknown author

An outstanding work of poetry of Ancient Rus is considered 'The Lay of Igor's Host'. It tells about the campaign of Prince Igor Svyatoslavovich in the 12th century, which ended unsuccessfully. The author of the publication is unknown. He calls on the princes to unite the Russian lands and end their internal enmity. The book is imbued with the idea of ​​patriotism, combines the motives and images of Slavic mythology, folk poetry. The 'word' is very different from the 'competitors' from the ranking and is one of the significant achievements of the European epic of the Middle Ages.

The work is included in the list of compulsory books for the curriculum of Russian schools. It is a pity that few people can remember at least a few lines from it. A narrative with a rich history develops and pushes for thought, it does not lose its relevance to this day.

Historical miniatures, Valentin Pikul

Rating: 4.2

Historical miniatures, Valentin Pikul

The final book of the rating is a short story based on historical documents. The narrative is completely composed of fate, curious cases and episodes. It is convenient to listen to it in audio recording format. The book includes such miniatures as 'Lonely in His Loneliness', 'Autograph under the Clouds', 'Sandunov Baths'.

Readers say that it has something that cannot be found in history books. There is a mixed opinion around the author. However, there were fans of his work, who consider Pikul's historical stories interesting and informative. There are those who simply do not perceive the writer's books.


Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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