Author(s): Edgar Knobloch
Traditionally, the History of Russia has been interpreted from the European standpoint, and has more often than not been based on European sources and methods. However, Edgar Knobloch takes a completely new and unconventional scholarly approach to the history of Russia. Using economic and legal analyses, archaeology and the history of art, as well as analogies with other countries and cultures, he charts the influences and traditions of the Eastern civilisations in Russian history - an element of exceptional importance which, until now, has been largely neglected by historians. This new treatment, which takes into full account the effect of Persian, Turkish, Byzantine and nomadic influences - rather than just the European - enables the author to elucidate and explain many controversial events and to draft a continuous line of development from the earliest past right down to our own times.
"...An extremely stimulating work... draws attention to a number of facts and events which, until now, remained more or less unnoticed in scholarly literature. The author introduces new viewpoints into traditional historiography... which should contribute to a deeper understanding of relations among substantial features of Russian history." - Professor K. V. Maly, Charles University, Prague - "Edgar Knobloch introduces the reader to a dimension of Russian history that is both fascinating and relatively unknown - how the Central Asian side of Russia, with its steppe frontier, has had such a profound influence on Russian civilisation in general." - Professor Norman Stone "You have to admire Edgar Knobloch: his unblinking focus, his unflagging industry, his undeniable erudition, his trenchant opinions, his indifference to academic fashions. Most other scholars will hate this unashamedly tendentious book - but it is the most eloquent statement yet of the case for classifying Russian history apart from that of the rest of Europe. Russia's continued self-distancing from the EU will ensure that Dr Knobloch attracts attention, even where he does not command assent. - Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Tufts University"
Edgar Knobloch is uniquely qualified for this work. A graduate in Law and Economics, he has studied the History of the Middle East and Arabic, speaks fluent Russian, dabbled in Turkish and Persian. In more than 30 journeys he has visited all Middle Eastern countries from Yemen to Xinjiang, China, as well as Russia. His works include, among others, The Art of Central Asia, Beyond the Oxus, Monuments of Central Asia, and Archaeology and Art of Afghanistan. He has also made translations of several medieval travelogues, including those of Carpini, Rubruck, and Clavijo. He lives in France.