The Pennsylvania State University
Cover for the book A Short History of Russia's First Civil War

A Short History of Russia's First Civil War

The Time of Troubles and the Founding of the Romanov Dynasty Chester S. L. Dunning
  • Copyright: 2004
  • Dimensions: 6.125 x 9.25
  • Page Count: 352 pages
  • Illustrations: 9 b&w illustrations/
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-02465-3
“Dunning’s new book is a historical tour de force, a major reconceptualization of Russia’s Time of Troubles, 1598–1613.”
“This is clearly the best and most judicious account of the Time of Troubles in any language. A magnificent achievement that will significantly benefit the reading world, especially those interested in Russia and comparative civil disorders.”
“We can thank Chester S. L. Dunning for explaining, much more than anyone before him, why and how this stunning reversal of fortunes occurred.”
“Dunning’s book on Russia’s First Civil War is a highly detailed, readable account of a turbulent time in Russian history that has relevancy even today as Russia continues to struggle with its infant democracy.”

Upon publication in 2001, Russia’s First Civil War by Chester Dunning was greeted by scholars as a “historical tour de force,” the first major post-Marxist reassessment of the Time of Troubles. Now available in an abridged paperback, A Short History of Russia’s First Civil War is ideally suited for classroom use.

Chester S. L. Dunning is Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University. He is editor and translator of The Russian Empire and Grand Duchy of Muscovy by Jacques Margeret (1983).


List of Illustrations and Maps


1. A Comparative Approach to the Problem of Origins of the Civil War

2. Long-Term Origins: The Growth of Autocracy and Imperialism

3. Ivan the Terrible and Russia’s Slide into Crisis

4. The Rise of Boris Godunov, the Uglich Tragedy, and Enserfment

5. The Southern Frontier and the Cossacks

6. The Beginning of the Time of Troubles and the Great Famine

7. What Triggered the civil War?

8. The Pretender Dmitrii Ivanovich

9. Dmitrii’s Invasion and the Beginning of the Civil War

10. Tsar Boris Strikes Back and the Civil War Widens

11. The Death of Tsar Boris and Dmitrii’s Triumph

12. The Short Reign of Tsar Dmitrii

13. Assassination of the Tsar

14. Vasilii Shuiskii Seizes Power and Rekindles the Civil War

15. The Beginning of the “Bolotnikov Rebellion”

16. The Civil War Widens and the Rebels Advance to Moscow

17. The Siege of Moscow

18. Retreat from Moscow, the Siege of Kaluga, and the Rise of Tsarevich Petr

19. Collapse of the Siege of Kaluga and the Beginning of Tsar Vasilii’s Offensive

20 The Siege of Tula and the Resurrection of “Tsar Dmitrii”

21. Tsar Vasilii’s Struggle Against the Tushino Impostor

22. Foreign Intervention and the Formation of the National Liberation Movement

23. The End of the Civil War and the Election of Mikhail Romanov

24. Tsar Mikhail and the End of the Time of Troubles

25. Disturbing Legacy


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