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Peter the Great and the Emergence of Russia BH Sumner in Peter the Great and the Emergence of Russia makes the basic argument that the efforts and leadership of Peter were responsible for the entrance of Russia into the modern world paving the way for the creation of the Soviet Union under Lenin Sumner writes with respect to the world at the time of his writing in the early 1960s with the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States dominating and defining world affairs that Certainly no historical theme is for us more significant than the double transformation that has taken place---of Muscovy into Russia and of Russia into the Soviet Union a transformation linked indissolubly both by contemporaries and by posterity with the names of Peter the Great and Lenin 9 Sumner goes even further and argues that Peter was responsible for revolutionizing not only Russia but also all of Europe in terms of his having driven Russia into a relationship however antagonistic with the West The book covers the life and career of Peter from his birth in 1672 to his death in 1725 at fifty-two years of age showing how and when he ascended to the throne at the age of ten in 1682 officially sharing power with his half-brother Ivan V seven years older and much weaker as a leader than Peter would prove to be Peter assumed exclusive power at the age of twenty-three in 1695 The undisguised admiration of the author for his subject is revealed in passage after passage including in this summation of Peters reign Thereafter for thirty whirlwind years he was in actuality as well as in title sovereign a tsar such as Muscovy never experienced before and an emperor such as Russia never experienced since 10 The environment in which Peter came to power and ruled is an important
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