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A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia, Volume II: Inner Eurasia from the Mongol Empire to Today, 1260 - 2000



A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia, Volume II: Inner Eurasia from the Mongol Empire to Today, 1260 - 2000

David Christian

ISBN: 978-1-119-44674-3 January 2018 Wiley-Blackwell 656 Pages

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Provides an all-encompassing look at the history of Russia, Central Asia, and Mongolia

Beginning with the breakup of the Mongol Empire in the mid-thirteenth century, Volume II of this comprehensive work covers the remarkable history of “Inner Eurasia,” from 1260 up to modern times, completing the story begun in Volume I. Volume II describes how agriculture spread through Inner Eurasia, providing the foundations for new agricultural states, including the Russian Empire. It focuses on the idea of “mobilization”—the distinctive ways in which elite groups mobilized resources from their populations, and how those methods were shaped by the region’s distinctive ecology, which differed greatly from that of “Outer Eurasia,” the southern half of Eurasia and the part of Eurasia most studied by historians. This work also examines how fossil fuels created a bonanza of energy that helped shape the history of the Communist world during much of the twentieth century.

Filled with figures, maps, and tables to help give readers a fuller understanding of what has transpired over 750 years in this distinctive world region, A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia: Volume II: Inner Eurasia from the Mongol Empire to Today, 1260-2000 is a magisterial but accessible account of this area’s past, that will offer readers new insights into the history of an often misunderstood part of the world.

  • Situates the histories of Russia, Central Asia, and Mongolia within the larger narrative of world history
  • Concentrates on the idea of Inner Eurasia as a coherent ecological and geographical zone
  • Focuses on the powerful ways in which the region’s geography shaped its history
  • Places great emphasis on how “mobilization” played a major part in the development of the regions
  • Offers a distinctive interpretation of modernity that highlights the importance of fossil fuels
  • Offers new ways of understanding the Soviet era

A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia: Volume II is an ideal book for general audiences and for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in world history. 

List of Figures vii

List of Maps xi

List of Tables xiii

Series Editor’s Preface xv

Acknowledgments xix

Preface: The Idea of Inner Eurasia xxi


1 Inner Eurasia in the Late Thirteenth Century: The Mongol Empire at its Height 3

2 1260–1350: Unraveling and the Building of New Polities 23

3 1350–1500: Central and Eastern Inner Eurasia 49

4 1350–1500:Western Inner Eurasia 71

5 1500–1600: Pastoralist and Oasis Societies of Inner Eurasia 97

6 1500–1600: Agrarian Societies West of the Volga 119

7 1600–1750: A Tipping Point: Building a Russian Empire 143

8 1600–1750: A Tipping Point: Central and Eastern Inner Eurasia between Russia and China 175

9 1750–1850: Evolution and Expansion of the Russian Empire 209


10 1850–1914: The Heartland: Continued Expansion and the Shock of Industrialization 233

11 1750–1900: Beyond the Heartlands: Inner Eurasian Empires, Russian and Chinese 269

12 1914–1921: Unraveling and Rebuilding 309

13 1921–1930: New Paths to Modernity 343

14 1930–1950: The Stalinist Industrialization Drive and the Test of War 367

15 1900–1950: Central and Eastern Inner Eurasia 403

16 1950–1991: The Heartland: A Plateau, Decline, and Collapse 437

17 1950–1991: Beyond the Heartlands: Central and Eastern Inner Eurasia in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century 473

18 1991–2000: Building New States: General Trends and the Russian Federation 493

19 1991–2000: Building New States: Beyond the Heartlands 531

Epilogue: After 2000: The End of Inner Eurasia? 569

Chronology 573

Index 605