Catherine the Great

A Short History
Second Edition

Isabel de Madariaga

View Inside Price: $14.95


August 11, 2002
262 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
17 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300097221
Paper

An eminent scholar of Russian history here presents the most informative, balanced, and up-to-date short study of Catherine the Great and her reign. This edition includes a new preface dealing with recently discovered sources and revised interpretations of the period.  

Praise for the earlier edition:

“A panoramic view of Russia’s social, political, economic, and cultural development and of its emergence as a formidable power in the international arena during the thirty-four years of [Catherine’s] reign.”—Anthony Cross, New York Times Book Review

“De Madariaga’s book will be the standard and an essential guide for all students and scholars of Russian and European history of the second half of the eighteenth century.”—Marc Raeff, Journal of Modern History
 

Isabel de Madariaga is professor emeritus of Slavonic Studies at the University of London.

"This book is certainly not just another biography of Catherine but a panoramic view of Russia's social, political, economic, and cultural development and of its emergence as a formidable power in the international arena during the thirty-four years of her reign."—Anthony Cross, New York Times Book Review
 

"De Madariaga's book will be the standard and an essential guide for all students and scholars of Russian and European history of the second half of the eighteenth century."—Marc Raeff, Journal of Modern History
 

"De Madariaga (Univ. of London) has published extensively in the scholarly literature on Catherine II and her reign (1762-96). . . . Writing with great admiration for Catherine's accomplishments and minimizing, perhaps, the harsh conditions outside of Court circles, the author carefully points out areas where other historians disagree with her and gaps in existing scholarship (especially Soviet scholarship). . . . This is a fine summary of the period."—Library Journal
 

"More than just another biography of the empress."—Oxford Times

"A fascinating tale. . . . A book that includes some of the most insightful chapters on eighteenth-century Russia to be found anywhere. . . . [An] impressive accomplishment."—W. Bruce Lincoln, Times Literary Supplement

"This is a condensed and to some extent popularized version of the author's. . . . (It) is going to be accessible to a wide public. A graceful writer and a brilliant historian, Professor Madariaga  . . . has made the late eighteenth century in Russia as familiar—or even more so—than the age of Stalin. Highly recommended."—Virginia Quarterly Review

"de Madariaga successfully provides an up-to-date summary of the best scholarship on late eighteenth-century Russia and an insightful, lucidly written interpretation. . . . The concluding bibliographical note is especially well done and useful for both beginner and scholar. . . . The choice as the first book to consult on its subject."—Choice
 

"In little more than two hundred pages of text, Professor de Madariaga has provided a remarkably fresh, lucid and well-paced survey which is ideal for the student or sixth-former coming to the period for the first time, and also has something to teach the specialist. . . . Professor de Madariaga has a shrewd eye for the significant detail. . . . As a single-volume introduction this study is unlikely to be bettered, and it deserves the widest readership."—H. M. Scott, Slavonic and East European Review

"A thoroughly readable work about an extraordinary woman and ruler about whom too little is known."—Gerard Devine, Australia and World Affairs
 

"Serves the reader best in its lucid discussions of the major questions of Catherine II's role as a monarch, such as the issue of the degree of `enlightenment' present in her reign. In addition, Madariaga's work clarifies the complicated political systems, foreign policy concerns, and intrigue that typified eighteenth-century European relations. Madariaga's latest attempt to provide an accessible view of the past has succeeded."—Helen S. Hundley, The Historian
 

"[This] readable and stimulating biography of Catherine the Great . . . is a real asset to our understanding of the history of women in power."—Susan Groag Bell, Women's Review of Books
 

"This is a timely book, and with scholarship and a broad sweep, de Madariaga sorts the fact from the fiction that has grown up around Russia's most powerful empress."—Roger Williams, The Sunday Times
 

"The text is elegantly written, informed by a lifetime of intensive study, and rich as it is in intimate detail, it is impatient with abstract of formalistic theorizing."—Gary Marker, Canadian Slavonic Papers

"[This book] remains the single best scholarly work on Catherine's reign, so the present book is and doubtless will long remain the best shorter introduction to the subject."—James Cracraft, The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography


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