Russia: The Wild East: The complete BBC Radio 4 series

WRITTEN BY: Martin Sixsmith

NARRATED BY: Martin Sixsmith


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11 hours 3 minutes
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In this captivating audiobook, Martin Sixsmith takes listeners on an enthralling journey through the power struggles that have shaped Russia's tumultuous history. With his knack for storytelling, Sixsmith presents 50 gripping episodes that delve into the Mongol invasions, the iron rule of the Tsars, and the eventual downfall of the Soviet Union.

From Ivan the Terrible to Catherine the Great and Peter the Great, each ruler left an indelible mark on a nation driven by expansion. While some Tsars toyed with reform, the gap between the ruling class and the people only widened. This divide culminated in the abdication of the doomed Tsar Nicholas II in 1917.

After the whirlwind of the revolution, the Bolsheviks sought to solidify their victory. But even they faced challenges, as Lenin made concessions to rescue the economy and secure the regime. However, after his death, Stalin introduced forced collectivization and industrialization, subjecting the Soviet people to conditions worse than under the Tsars.

Nikita Khrushchev eventually reversed some of Stalin's excesses, and in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on radical reforms. Yet, these changes had unforeseen consequences that ultimately led to Gorbachev's downfall and the demise of the USSR.

Drawing on his firsthand experience reporting from Russia in the 1980s and '90s, Sixsmith weaves a narrative that captures the critical moment when the Soviet Union lost its grip on power. He ponders whether the recurring patterns of Russian history can shed light on the country's trajectory since 1991, when hopes for Western-style democracy were ignited.

Enriched with eyewitness accounts, archival recordings, and personal testimonies, Sixsmith's narrative becomes a vivid tapestry of Russian history. The inclusion of readings from renowned Russian authors and historians, such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Vasily Grossman, as well as evocative musical pieces by Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and others, further enhance the immersive listening experience.

With an audiobook rating of 4.9 out of 5, and a total length of 11 hours and 3 minutes, Sixsmith's captivating storytelling and deep insights make this a must-listen for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Russia's complex past and its ongoing quest for identity and power.

Our Rating
4.9 / 5
It's awesome! 😜
* Our ratings are derived from comprehensive data gathered from multiple reputable sources, combined with advanced AI analysis to ensure accuracy and reliability.



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