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Towards the Flame Audiobook

Towards the Flame: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia

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Publisher's Summary

The Russian decision to mobilize in July 1914 may have been the single most catastrophic choice of the modern era. Some articulate, thoughtful figures around the tsar understood Russia's fragility, yet they were shouted down by those who were convinced that despite Germany's patent military superiority, Russian greatness required decisive action.

Russia's rulers thought they were acting to secure their future, but in fact - after millions of deaths and two revolutions - they were consigning their entire class to death or exile and their country to a uniquely terrible generations-long experiment under a very different regime.

©2015 Dominic Lieven (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

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  •  
    Shane Australia 29/05/2016
    Shane Australia 29/05/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    20
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Different Perspective"

    The reason I liked this book so much was the fact that it focused on something other than the western front. Don't get me wrong, I love "Guns of August", but it is fantastic to hear a well written book about something that I previously knew nothing about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    9/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You must listen to the final chapter"
    Would you listen to Towards the Flame again? Why?

    There is so much detail that you have to revisit many chapters to ensure you have a grasp of the narrative that is unfolding.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot recommend too highly this book to anyone with an interest in 20th century world history. Having read several books dealing with the events leading to the outbreak of the 1st world war, I was engrossed by the presentaltion from a Russian perspective.Half way through I had to break off to revisit Misha Gennie's excellent Balkan history to refresh myself on Balkan politics 1900-1914.
    I hope all politicians read the author's final chapter, which is thought provoking and certainly puts the current Ukraine crisis into a broader historical context.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mr.
    Glasgow, United Kingdom
    10/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really terrific, but not a primer for this subject"

    I loved this book. It's clever, articulate and hugely informative, and it's beautifully narrated by the experienced and highly skilled Sean Barrett. I found the detailed analysis of the period very stimulating and not at all intimidating in its depth and breadth, but while not describing myself as an expert on the period, I did have a fairly good grounding in the main events of the time. My one caveat would be that it's probably not the best introductory book for this area of interest, but if you do have a rough grounding in its themes it will be a most rewarding listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • S. Moorcroft
    London UK
    19/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "1914 World War 1 An Eastern European Conflict"

    The central thesis of this book is that it is impossible to understand the World War 1 without grasping the importance of the struggle between Austrian and Russia for hegemony in the Balkans, and most importantly Ukraine. Whilst he is successful in this respect he also manages to explore the wider causes and consequences of the war. History at its best, measured, cool headed, and dispassionate, though not devoid of serious moral judgements. Exceptionally good narration, striking exactly the right tone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Toby
    6/08/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "A more perfect audio book I could not imagine."

    Wonderfully narrated. mainly diplomatic history of Europe and particularly Russia in the decade or two leading up to ww1.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pavel
    3/06/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "A must read.
    "

    An analysis that not only reveals the complexity of pre-WWI era, but also provides striking insights for the unsustainability of modern Russia.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anonimo Nonlodico
    1/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"

    Well written, interesting, intelligent and well researched position. An important and often neglected perspective on the origin of the First World War. Strongly recommend to everyone interested in the subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joey the Panda
    London UK
    12/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fatally flawed"
    Would you try another book written by Dominic Lieven or narrated by Sean Barrett?

    Not until the author learns the difference between Britain and England


    If you’ve listened to books by Dominic Lieven before, how does this one compare?

    I haven't


    Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    As good as ever, voice is so important for audiobooks and Sean has that gift. He also shows a good ability to handle names from a range of places. The book can seem a bit flat and droney at times, but I think that's more to do with the writing than with the reading.


    What character would you cut from Towards the Flame?

    Austria


    Any additional comments?

    There's a lot of interesting and enlightening stuff in here, but I gave it one star because the author continually refers to Britain as 'England'. Seriously..if the bloke has such a vague grasp of the country he comes from, how are we supposed to have any faith in his assessment of complex and convoluted international events?

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful

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