Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peaceby DOMINIC LIEVEN

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  • Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace by DOMINICLIEVENReview by: ROBERT LEGVOLDForeign Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 3 (May/June 2010), p. 147Published by: Council on Foreign RelationsStable URL: .Accessed: 14/06/2014 13:33

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  • Recent Books

    dealing with not only places where nation alism is ascendant but also places where it

    has fizzled and addressing not just collec

    tive violence on a grand scale, such as the

    Balkan wars, but also mass mobilizations

    short of war, such as the periodic violence

    in the Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. His treatment of the fall of com

    munism in Eastern Europe and the disin

    tegration of the Soviet Union is thoughtful but somewhat tenuously linked to the books core themes. Each step of the way, he reflects on the state of the study of na

    tionalism, beginning with the early, mostly British thinkers who carved out the field. If their ideas endure largely unimproved, it is, he suggests, because their rich, his

    torically grounded approach and readiness to borrow across disciplines have given

    way to studies more concerned with the

    rigorous manipulation of data than an

    expansive notion of evidence, and more

    concerned with the application of formal

    theory than unfettered imagination.

    Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the

    Campaigns of Warand'Peace, by dominic

    lieven. Viking, 2010, 656 pp. $35.95. This is a large, booming riposte to all those histories and novels that downplay Russia's

    role in Napoleons ultimate defeat, leaving the credit mostly to "General Winter"

    or, according to Tolstoyan myth, to the

    patriotism of the Russian people. No,

    says Lieven, the Russian government itself defeated Napoleon, and it did so because Tsar Alexander I and his war

    minister had anticipated the war, knew

    the enemy and his weaknesses, and had

    designed a superior strategy. "From the

    start," Lieven writes, "their plan was to wear

    down Napoleon by a defensive campaign in Russia, and then to pursue the defeated

    enemy back over the frontier and raise a

    European insurrection against him." Hence, the importance of the years 1813-14. This

    was the decisive phase of the Napoleonic Wars, but it has been neglected thanks to self-serving retellings found in British, French, and Prussian histories and in later

    Russian novels and musical overtures.

    Lieven not only makes his case in rich,

    probing detail; he also encases it in a fluent reading of Russia's larger political and social dynamics during this period.

    The Road to Independence for Kosovo: A Chronicle of theAhtisaari Plan, by

    henry h. perritt, jr. Cambridge

    University Press, 2009,328 pp. $85.00. Kosovo's declaration of independence, in

    2008, was the last?or, alas, possibly only the latest?chapter in the painful and com

    plex demise of Yugoslavia. Perritt comes as

    close as an outsider can to opening doors

    into the chambers where the political forces of Belgrade and Pristina tangled and diplomats from Russia, the eu, and the

    United States struggled to craft the least

    destabilizing disposition of Kosovo nearly ten years after the nato-led war broke

    Serbia's hold over it. His account makes

    plain that independence (and not just some

    form of autonomy or partition) was in

    the cards from the start. But to get there

    without running over the Russians and, if

    possible, while reconciling the Serbs and

    holding the eu constituency together was

    no mean diplomatic feat. In the end, only the last of these objectives was achieved.

    Sympathetic as Perritt is to the Kosovars'

    cause, he notes how much uncertainty

    persists about future Russian behavior, the prospects of an independent Kosovo, and the ability of the un Security Council to deal with the next comparable crisis.

    FOREIGN AFFAIRS - May/June 2010 [147]

    This content downloaded from on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 13:33:22 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    Article Contentsp. 147

    Issue Table of ContentsForeign Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 3 (May/June 2010), pp. 1-158Front MatterCommentsHelping Others Defend Themselves: The Future of U.S. Security Assistance [pp. 2-6]The Brussels Wall: Tearing Down the EU-NATO Barrier [pp. 7-12]The Global Glass Ceiling: Why Empowering Women Is Good for Business [pp. 13-20]

    EssaysThe Geography of Chinese Power: How Far Can Beijing Reach on Land and at Sea? [pp. 22-41]Bigger Is Better: The Case for a Transatlantic Economic Union [pp. 42-50]And Justice for All: Enforcing Human Rights for the World's Poor [pp. 51-62]Top of the Class: The Rise of Asia's Universities [pp. 63-75]Faulty Basel: Why More Diplomacy Won't Keep the Financial System Safe [pp. 76-88]Expeditionary Economics: Spurring Growth After Conflicts and Disasters [pp. 89-99]NATO's Final Frontier: Why Russia Should Join the Atlantic Alliance [pp. 100-112]

    Reviews &ResponsesReview EssaysOverpowered? Questioning the Wisdom of American Restraint [pp. 114-119]It Takes the Villages: Bringing Change From Below in Afghanistan [pp. 120-127]

    ResponseTo the Finland Station: Is Taiwan Selling Out to China? [pp. 128-133]

    Recent Books on International RelationsPolitical and LegalReview: untitled [pp. 134-134]Review: untitled [pp. 134-135]Review: untitled [pp. 135-135]Review: untitled [pp. 135-136]Review: untitled [pp. 136-136]

    Economic, Social, and EnvironmentalReview: untitled [pp. 136-136]Review: untitled [pp. 136-137]Review: untitled [pp. 137-137]Review: untitled [pp. 137-137]Review: untitled [pp. 137-138]

    Military, Scientific, and TechnologicalReview: untitled [pp. 138-138]Review: untitled [pp. 138-139]Review: untitled [pp. 139-139]Review: untitled [pp. 139-139]

    The United StatesReview: untitled [pp. 140-140]Review: untitled [pp. 140-140]Review: untitled [pp. 140-141]Review: untitled [pp. 141-141]Review: untitled [pp. 141-142]

    Western EuropeReview: untitled [pp. 142-142]Review: untitled [pp. 142-142]Review: untitled [pp. 142-143]Review: untitled [pp. 143-143]Review: untitled [pp. 143-143]

    Western HemisphereReview: untitled [pp. 144-144]Review: untitled [pp. 144-144]Review: untitled [pp. 144-145]Review: untitled [pp. 145-145]

    Eastern Europe and Former Soviet RepublicsReview: untitled [pp. 146-146]Review: untitled [pp. 146-146]Review: untitled [pp. 146-147]Review: untitled [pp. 147-147]Review: untitled [pp. 147-147]Review: untitled [pp. 148-148]

    Middle EastReview: untitled [pp. 148-148]Review: untitled [pp. 148-149]Review: untitled [pp. 149-149]Review: untitled [pp. 149-150]

    Asia and PacificReview: untitled [pp. 150-150]Review: untitled [pp. 150-151]Review: untitled [pp. 151-152]Review: untitled [pp. 152-152]

    AfricaReview: untitled [pp. 153-153]Review: untitled [pp. 153-154]Review: untitled [pp. 154-154]Review: untitled [pp. 154-154]

    Letters to the EditorGETTING DERADICALIZATION RIGHT [pp. 155-157]DECODING DEMOGRAPHY [pp. 157-158]FOR THE RECORD [pp. 158-158]

    Back Matter


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