A brisk, compact history of modern Russia (conceived of as starting with the Napoleonic invasion) provides in its prologue a view of Kievan, Moscovite and Petrine Russia, then moves on to a more comprehensive look at Russia from 1801 through 1964. It is short rather than simplified, making room for both cultural and political trends and events within its scope. The author has a point of view, evident in his commentary on the main figures in Russian history (he gives Khrushchev a favorable rating). The book is more satisfactory for its coverage of the pre-Stalin era, where less material is available; the format necessarily limits extensive probing, is more conducive to assertion. One misses the ""buzz of implication"" which Lionel Trilling says a short history necessarily lacks, but facts are amply in evidence. R.D. Charques' (Short History of Russia (1956) was a sound predecessor; this concentrates on the nineteenth and twentieth century and covers up to the present regime. For an average rather than advanced readership.