History of Russia Reading List

Russian History

Imperial Russian History

  • The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Russia: A History by Gregory L. Freeze
  • Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie
  • Peter the Great: His Life and World by Robert K. Massie
  • Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
  • Ivan the Terrible by Isabel de Madariaga
  • Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff
  • Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar by Edvard Radzinsky
  • Alexander I: The Tsar Who Defeated Napoleon by Marie-Pierre Rey
  • Nicholas I: Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias by W. Bruce Lincoln
  • Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace by Dominic Lieven
  • Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia by Orlando Figes
  • The Crimean War: A History by Orlando Figes
  • The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia by Peter Hopkirk

History of the Soviet Union

  1. Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin
  2. The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia by Orlando Figes
  3. Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 by Stephen Kotkin
  4. Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s by Sheila Fitzpatrick
  5. Russia in Flames: War, Revolution, Civil War, 1914-1921 by Laura Engelstein
  6. Stalin’s Peasants: Resistance and Survival in the Russian Village after Collectivization by Sheila Fitzpatrick
  7. Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum
  8. Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization by Stephen Kotkin
  9. Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum
  10. The Russian Revolution: A New History by Sean McMeekin
  11. Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror by Victor Sebestyen
  12. The Empire Must Die: Russia’s Revolutionary Collapse, 1900-1917 by Mikhail Zygar
  13. Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial: Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine by Lynne Viola
  14. Destruction Was My Beatrice: Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century by Jed Rasula
  15. Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 by Anne Applebaum
  16. Stalin: Miscalculation and the Mao Eclipse by Stephen Kotkin
  17. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder
  18. Scorched Earth: Stalin’s Reign of Terror by Jörg Baberowski
  19. The Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russia Revolution by Robert Service
  20. Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society by Steven A. Barnes
  21. Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War by Chris Bellamy
  22. On Stalin’s Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics by Sheila Fitzpatrick
  23. Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him by Donald Rayfield
  24. Engineers of the Soul: The Grandiose Propaganda of Stalin’s Russia by Frank Westerman
  25. The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power by Jan Plamper
  26. Lenin by Dmitri Volkogonov
  27. Trotsky: Eternal Revolutionary by Dmitri Volkogonov
  28. Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life by Jonathan Sperber
  29. The End of Tsarist Russia: The March to World War I and Revolution by Dominic Lieven
  30. Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928 by S. A. Smith
  31. The “Russian” Civil Wars, 1916-1926: Ten Years That Shook the World by Jonathan Smele
  32. The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution by Yuri Slezkine
  33. Propaganda State in Crisis: Soviet Ideology, Indoctrination, and Terror under Stalin, 1927-1941 by David Brandenberger
  34. The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars by Daniel Beer
  35. Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution by Kenneth B. Moss
  36. October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Miéville
  37. Cultivating the Masses: Modern State Practices and Soviet Socialism, 1914–1939 by David L. Hoffmann
  38. Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator by Oleg V. Khlevniuk
  39. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: A Novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  40. Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914 by Prit Buttar
  41. Germany Ascendant: The Eastern Front 1915 by Prit Buttar
  42. Russia’s Last Gasp: The Eastern Front 1916–17 by Prit Buttar
  43. The Splintered Empires: The Eastern Front 1917–21 by Prit Buttar
  44. Stalin and Europe: Imitation and Domination, 1928-1953 by Timothy Snyder and Ray Brandon
  45. Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia by Alfred J. Rieber
  46. Stalin: Breaker of Nations by Robert Conquest
  47. The Great Terror: A Reassessment by Robert Conquest
  48. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe by Robert Gellately
  49. Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR by Adeeb Khalid
  50. Despite Cultures: Early Soviet Rule in Tajikistan by Botakoz Kassymbekova
  51. Gulag Letters by Arsenii Formakov (Author), Emily D. Johnson (Editor)
  52. Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia by Douglas Northrop
  53. Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia’s City of Steel by John Scott
  54. The Sovietization of Azerbaijan: The South Caucasus in the Triangle of Russia, Turkey, and Iran, 1920–1922 by Jamil Hasanli
  55. Lenin: A Biography by Robert Service
  56. Leon Trotsky: A Revolutionary’s Life by Joshua Rubenstein
  57. Tashkent: Forging a Soviet City, 1930–1966 by Paul Stronski
  58. Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore
  59. Between Prometheism and Realpolitik: Poland and Soviet Ukraine, 1921-1926 by Jan Jacek Bruski
  60. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore
  61. Stalin’s Loyal Executioner: People’s Commissar Nikolai Ezhov, 1895-1940 by Marc Jansen and Nikita Petrov
  62. Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters under Lenin and Stalin by Victoria E. Bonnell
  63. The Red Army and the Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Soviet Military by Peter Whitewood
  64. Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives by John Arch Getty and Roberta Thompson Manning (Editors)
  65. The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 by Roger Moorhouse
  66. Stalin’s Holy War: Religion, Nationalism, and Alliance Politics, 1941-1945 by Steven Merritt Miner
  67. Ivan’s War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945 by Catherine Merridale
  68. Stalin’s Citizens: Everyday Politics in the Wake of Total War by Serhy Yekelchyk
  69. Russia’s War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941-1945 by Richard Overy
  70. Smersh: Stalin’s Secret Weapon by Vadim Birstein
  71. The Eastern Front 1914-1917 by Norman Stone
  72. Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe by Adam Zamoyski
  73. The Clash of Moral Nations: Cultural Politics in Pilsudski’s Poland, 1926–1935 by Eva Plach
  74. Soviet Soft Power in Poland: Culture and the Making of Stalin’s New Empire, 1943-1957 by Patryk Babiracki
  75. Stalin’s Secret Pogrom: The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee by Joshua Rubenstein
  76. Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56 by Katherine Lebow
  77. The Prophet: The Life of Leon Trotsky by Isaac Deutscher
  78. Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini: Totalitarianism in the Twentieth Century by Bruce F. Pauley
  79. Fear and the Muse Kept Watch: The Russian Masters—from Akhmatova and Pasternak to Shostakovich and Eisenstein—Under Stalin by Andy McSmith
  80. Stalin’s Slave Ships: Kolyma, the Gulag Fleet, and the Role of the West by Martin J. Bollinger
  81. The Long War: The Intellectual People’s Front and Anti-Stalinism, 1930–1940 by Judy Kutulas
  82. Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk by Elissa Bemporad
  83. The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity: The Stalin Years by Vojtech Mastny
  84. Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945-1953 by Yoram Gorlizki and Oleg Khlevniuk
  85. The Russian Revolution by Richard Pipes
  86. Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly by Michael D. Gordin