Books to recommend

1. Russia by Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, who lived in Russia for quite a while being a correspondent of The Times in the last three decades of the 19th, and the first decade of the 20th century. It is, simply put, a very good book. Most of it came from Wallace’s personal experience; its weaker parts are Wallace’s forays into history, some of which are are journalistically simplified and therefore misleading.

(A side thought: someone said Scots were particularly good at understanding the workings of English society and administering British colonies.)

2. Alexander II and His Times by Walter Moss. An easy introduction to one of the most important and eventful, if brief, periods in Russian history.

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