• Un des grands livres sur la Russie tsariste. La Russie sous l'Ancien régime (paru en 1974 aux Etats unis puis en Angleterre) est d'abord une formidable introduction à la civilisation russe, écrite de main de maître par un historien connu pour sa prose limpide et son sens du récit. Fondamentalement différente des pays européens, soumise à des contraintes géographiques fortes, la Russie était caractérisée par la permanence d'un système " patrimonial " : l'État, qu'il soit tsariste ou soviétique, était le propriétaire du pays et de ses habitants.
    C'est ensuite un livre à thèse passionnant qui rappelle utilement, que le coup d'État bolchevique de 1917 et le régime totalitaire qui en est issu, n'ont jamais fait " table rase du passé ", mais au contraire, ont bénéficié d'un terreau idéal - celui de l'autocratie tsariste que Pipes raconte et dissèque dans la lignée de L'Empire des tsars de Leroy-Beaulieu. Il semble que l'échec de la Russie à mettre en place un régime véritablement démocratique après la chute du communisme, si l'on compare son destin à celui d'autres pays d'Europe de l'Est, confirme la thèse de départ de Pipes : La Russie n'est pas condamnée à vivre éternellement sous un régime despotique ou semi-despotique, mais son héritage historique rend la rupture définitive d'avec ce dernier particulièrement difficile.
    Alors que la Russie de " Poutine II " s'enfonce aujourd'hui dans une nouvelle dictature, tous ceux qui s'intéressent à ce pays doivent lire cet ouvrage essentiel.
    "Limpide et éloquent"
    Le Figaro Histoire "Enfin édité en France"
    Le Figaro Littéraire "Le récit est passionnant, mystérieux, comme toujours. Et surtout il éclaire le présent."
    Point de vue "Chacun l'aura compris, on tient là, enfin, à l'ouvrage capital dont on ne voit pas qu'à ce jour il ait pu être dépassé"
    Les affiches de Normandie "Un portait percutant et acerbe de la Russie d'avant 1917"
    Le Temps

  • One of the most enduring dreams is of a Utopian society in which all possessions are held in common ownership, and there is never a quarrel over "mine" and "thine". As Professor Pipes argues in this book, such a dream has never been translated into reality in the secular world, despite the best efforts of socialist and communist ideologues. Acquisitiveness is deeply ingrained in all living creatures and all societies for both economic and psychological reasons. Where there are no guarantees of property there are no limits to state authority and no regulatory bodies of law, and hence no guarantee of individual liberty, or "civil rights". Herein lies the crux of the author's argument.

  • Mr. Pipes writes trenchantly, and at times superbly....No single volume known to me even begins to cater so adequately to those who want to discover what really happened to Russia....Nor do I know any other book better designed to help Soviet citizens to struggle out of the darkness."
    -- Ronald Hingley, The New York Times Book Review
    Ground-breaking in its inclusiveness, enthralling in its narrative of a movement whose purpose, in the words of Leon Trotsky, was "to overthrow the world," The Russian Revolution draws conclusions that have already aroused great controversy in this country-and that are certain to be explosive when the book is published in the Soviet Union. Richard Pipes argues convincingly that the Russian Revolution was an intellectual, rather than a class, uprising; that it was steeped in terror from its very outset; and that it was not a revolution at all but a coup d'etat -- "the capture of governmental power by a small minority."
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • From one of our greatest historians, a magnificent reckoning with the modern world's most fateful idea.
    With astonishing authority and clarity, Richard Pipes has fused a lifetime's scholarship into a single focused history of Communism, from its hopeful birth as a theory to its miserable death as a practice.
    At its heart, the book is a history of the Soviet Union, the most comprehensive reorganization of human society ever attempted by a nation-state. Drawing on much new information, Richard Pipes explains the countryís evolution from the 1917 revolution to the Great Terror and World War II, global expansion and the Cold War chess match with the United States, and the regime's decline and ultimate collapse. There is no more dramatic story in modern history, nor one more crucial to master, than that of how the writing and agitation of two mid-nineteenth-century European thinkers named Marx and Engels led to a great and terrible world religion that brought down a mighty empire, consumed the world in conflict, and left in its wake a devastation whose full costs can only now be tabulated.
    From the Hardcover edition.

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