Russia in Asia: A Record and a Study, 1558‒1899


Alexis Sidney Krausse (1859‒1904) was a British journalist and author who wrote for many British periodicals and produced books about a wide range of subjects, including poverty in the city of London, China and the Far East, and the Russian Empire. Russia in Asia: A Record and a Study, 1558-1899 is a history of Russia’s expansion in Asia, beginning in 1558, the year Grigorii Stroganov received a charter from Ivan the Terrible to colonize lands on the Kama River on the western edge of the Ural Mountains. The book covers the absorption of Siberia, Russia’s conquest of the khanates of Khiva and Bukhara, its late-19th century expansion into Turkestan, its annexation of lands previously belonging to Persia and China, railroad construction, and Russian policy toward Afghanistan. In the preface, Krausse writes that his book “does not profess to be more than a history, complete yet concise, of Asiatic Russia. In criticising the rival policies of Russia and England, my endeavour has been to present the clear and impartial deduction that a careful study of these policies yields.” In fact the book is heavily biased against Russia, which is portrayed as inexorably expansionist and the “natural enemy” of Great Britain. Russia in Asia appeared in several editions, in Britain and the United States. Presented here is the first edition, published in London in 1899. It contains 12 maps and three appendices: a chronology of “Landmarks in the History of Asiatic Russia”; a compendium of the most important treaties and conventions between Russia and China, Persia, Afghanistan, and other polities on the southern rim of the Russian Empire; and a bibliography of authorities on Asiatic Russia and neighboring countries.

Last updated: August 30, 2016