The Woodrow Wilson Center Press

What People are Saying

"What form Russia will take is of major significance for the world, but of course no one is more interested than the Russians themselves, who are already busily attempting both to divine and determine that future. Russia in Search of Itself allows us to eavesdrop on Russia's national conversation, which ranges from the brilliant to the boozy (and wouldn't be Russian if it didn't).
--Richard Lourie, Washington Post   Read the full review.

"James Billington, one of America's greatest experts on Russian history and culture, applies his knowledge of the past to Russia's present. The result is both literate and readable, a book anyone interested in the subject will need to buy."—-Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A History

"Russia in Search of Itself offers an indispensable guide to current Russian thinking about the eternal question of Russia's identity and the historic roots of the lively debate in which Russians today are engaged. His study illuminates the moral and spiritual roots for both pessimism and optimism about the path Russia may choose."—-James F. Collins, former U.S. ambassador to Russia

"Jim Billington has reminded us yet again of why he is a giant in the field of Russian studies. His wisdom about what is happening in Russia today—and what may happen there in the future—is rooted in his profound knowledge of its history. To have tackled a subject as complex as Russian identity and the Russian national idea with such concision, clarity, and confidence is a major achievement."—-Strobe Talbott, author of The Russia Hand: A Memoir of Presidential Diplomacy

Chapter List

Preface I. The Long Prologue 1. The Nineteenth-Century Discovery of Identity 2. The Twentieth-Century Search for Legitimacy II. The Quickening Quest 3. A New Nation in Search of Identity 4. The Authoritarian Alternative: Eurasianism 5. The Travails of a Democratic Identity Conclusion Notes Bibliographic Postscript Index

About Woodrow Wilson Center Press

Woodrow Wilson Center Press publishes books by fellows, other resident scholars, and staff written in substantial part at the Wilson Center.