By James H. Billington
"A wealthy and readable advent to the full sweep of Russian cultural and highbrow heritage from Kievan instances to the post-Khruschev era."
The Icon and the Ax is subtitled an "interpretive history" of Russia. It tells the tale of Russia from its origins because the Kievian Rus in the course of the Sixties Soviet Union whilst the e-book was once written. the writer, James Billington, loves Russia and this comes via in actual fact whilst he laments the Soviet destruction of Russian tradition.
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Extra resources for The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian Culture
Power by the new city which rose to 16 The Forest 2. Ihe most important immediate consequence sweep across the Eurasian steppe in the thirteenth century once-outlying forest regions of the north What independent Orthodox culture. the central Dnieper to the upper and fights, frosts, the that the main center of an the change of geographical focus Volga really meant can never be from precisely northeast of the north. Cultural historians are inclined fires to stress continuities with the cities of the now became was Mongol few documentary or archeological materials have sur- ascertained.
In any way recapture — let in the bleak alone surpass — It must have Volga-Oka region the glories of the Kievan Kiev and the original region of Rus' along the Dnieper had been The Volga was frozen for much south by Mongol fortresses. Flat terrain and despoiled by the still-menacing Mongols. of the year and blocked to the wooden fortifications offered little natural protection Slavic co-religionists to the west the northwest, moved from eastern invaders. were preoccupied with other problems. To Novgorod had carved out an economic empire of its own and increasingly into the orbit of the expanding Hanseatic League.
The clearest cultural legacy of the and administrative sphere. ^^ The period of Mongol domination termination of tribute in 1480 —was —roughly not so from 1240 much one until the of "Oriental des- 14 BACKGROUND I. among potism"^* as of decentralized localism the Orthodox Eastern Slavs. This "appanage period" of Russian history was one of those when, in Spengler's words, . high history lays . itself again, clinging to the soil, down weary to sleep. Man becomes a plant dumb and enduring. The timeless village, the "eternal" peasant reappear, begetting children and burying seed in earth —a mother busy, not inadequate swarm, over which the tempest of soldier- emperors passingly blows.
The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian Culture by James H. Billington