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THE CONQUEST OF A CONTINENT: Siberia and the Russians

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A sweeping, stark, and cautionary popular history of Russia's ruthless, centuries-old exploitation of its vast Eurasian hinterland. Lincoln (Russian History/Northern Illinois University; Red Victory ... Read full review

The conquest of a continent: Siberia and the Russians

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Lincoln ( Red Victory , LJ 2/15/90) chronicles Siberia's role in Russian history, from the formation of the state to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The author uses primary and secondary ... Read full review

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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.

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