After his twenty-year absence teaching Russian history at McGill University in Canada, it is good to welcome Professor Philip Longworth back into the ranks of Anglo-Russian scholars in this country. His seven previous books combine original work with a vivid, highly readable style, above all his biography of Peter the Great's father, Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich, and his trail-blazing life (the only one in English) of Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov, the extraordinary military genius moulded by Catherine the Great's imperial wars.
His new book, Russia's Empires, is a brilliantly ambitious survey of the whole of Russia's imperial past. It is a battleground that has long been fought upon by historians, from B H Sumner, Bernard Pares and Hugh Seton-Watson to Geoffrey Hoskings and Dominic Lieven in the last few years. Replying