One wants to talk about the evolution of the Russian state, but that's the problem: there virtually was none, from the Middle Ages to WW I. Then the communists added 60 more years in the deep freeze. Only today is progress a possibility. From his vantage point at Harvard, Professor Richard Pipes sees in Russia's history a sweeping epic that helps us better understand the Russia of today. "Brilliant, provocative analysis." (The Times, London).