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The new edition of the Great Writing series provides clear explanations, extensive models of academic writing and practice to help learners write great sentences, paragraphs, and essays. With expanded vocabulary instruction, sentence-level practice, and National Geographic content to spark ideas, students have the tools they need to become confident writers. Updated in this Edition: Clearly organized units offer the practice students need to become effective independent writers. Each unit includes: Part 1: Elements of Great Writing teaches the fundamentals of organized writing, accurate grammar, and precise mechanics. Part 2: Building Better Vocabulary provides practice with carefully-selected, level-appropriate academic words. Part 3: Building Better Sentences helps writers develop longer and more complex sentences. Part 4: Writing activities allow students to apply what they have learned by guiding them through writing, editing, and revising. Part 5: New Test Prep section gives a test-taking tip and timed task to prepare for high-stakes standardized tests, including IELTs and TOEFL. The new guided online writing activity takes students through the entire writing process with clear models for reference each step of the way.

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September 20, 1998 Russia's Cultural Revolution A new study of Czar Peter I and his campaign to modernize and Westernize his country. Related Link First Chapter: 'Russia in the Age of Peter the Great' By JAMES CRACRAFT RUSSIA IN THE AGE OF PETER THE GREAT By Lindsey Hughes. Illustrated. 602 pp. New Haven: Yale University Press. $35. s Russians rise from the rubble of the Soviet Union to face an uncertain future, the ghost of Peter the Great, Czar and first Emperor (reigned 1682-1725), rises with them. Though he was never really forgotten during the Soviet era, his memory was carefully controlled in keeping with Marxist doctrine and whatever was the current Communist Party line. But now he seems to be everywhere, his image harnessed to the sale of beer, vodka and cigarettes or to the promotion of banks and real estate. Ships are named after him, along with schools, streets and museums. His tricolor mercantile flag, patterned on contemporary Dutch and British naval flags, is now the Russian national flag; his city, created in the marshy Neva estuary, is again called St. Petersburg; his towering figure, embodied in a colossal new statue 15 stories high, today graces Moscow, the city of his birth, which he later abandoned in favor of his ''paradise'' by the Baltic. When asked in a recent interview to select a hero from Russian history, Boris Yeltsin named Peter. His choice, by all accounts, enjoys broad popular support. In the conclusion to ''Russia in the Age of Peter the Great,'' an admirably comprehensive volume, Lindsey Hughes, a professor of Russian history at the University of London, suggests that Peter's revival in Russian esteem is the flip side of contempt for Mikhail Gorbachev, a ''reformer'' who, like Peter, ''challenged old orthodoxies, broke down walls, changed his titles, acknowledged the need to learn from the West, and traveled there himself, creating a new image for Soviet leaders. But whereas Peter presided over the consolidation and expansion of empire, Gorbachev precipitated its collapse.'' Today, she adds, ''frustrated, disappointed Russians quote Peter's example to criticize the incompetence and feebleness of post-Soviet rulers,'' Yeltsin certainly included. There is more to the problem of Peter than that, of course, as Hughes well knows. His grand project -- constructing a modern European empire on the shoulders of the medieval kingdom of Muscovy -- has always excited both admiration and disgust, whether in Russia or abroad. Cosmopolitans, modernizers and power groupies have acclaimed him as a model of enlightened absolutism while others -- call them populists -- have variously deplored his reign and legacy. Russian nationalists have viewed him as the chief enactor of Russia's imperial destiny -- or as a tyrant worse than Ivan the Terrible and the forerunner of Stalin. The historian Nicholas Riasanovsky of the University of California, Berkeley, has published a large volume titled ''The Image of Peter the Great in Russian History and Thought,'' leaving his former student Xenia Gasiorowska to focus on ''The Image of Peter the Great in Russian Fiction.'' Both books attest to the magnetism the myth of Peter has exerted on Russian writers of all stripes, and to the deep controversy it has aroused. Among American historians, or historical writers, two may be singled out: Eugene Schuyler, the scholar-diplomat, whose two-volume biography of Peter (1884) was the first extended study in English based on Russian sources, and Robert K. Massie, whose vast ''Peter the Great, His Life and World'' (1980), heavily indebted to Schuyler, won a Pulitzer Prize. Like all ambitious histories intended for a wide audience, each also tells us about the times in which it was written: in Schuyler's case, the United States of President William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and Adm. Alfred Thayer Mahan, aspiring to be a world power; in Massie's, the America of Hollywood and the cold war. Yet however different their perspectives and styles (the one prosaic, diplomatic; the other romantic, even melodramatic), both writers evince great admiration for their subject and his achievements along with a certain reluctance, perhaps as outsiders, to criticize or condemn. Not so Hughes -- and that is not the least of her big book's strengths. Every last wart on her subject's royal visage is displayed, every known chink in his imperious armor. The man's myth, periodically evoked in its various formulations, is briskly, as well as lengthily, torn to shreds. We are left with a Russia, at Peter's death, that is exhausted, confused and fearful -- the lachrymose praises of an opportunistic new elite notwithstanding. e are left with a Peter, for all the incredible color and drama implicit in his history (see Massie), who is complex but crude, neurotic, bad-tempered to the point of cruelty and faintly ridiculous; a figure heroic at times, it may be, generous and kindly on occasion, remarkably bright despite his lack of formal education, but ultimately a lonely man, this in part because he was a reformer steadfastly pursuing his Westernizing agenda within a tradition-bound Muscovite society, in part because of the ''uncomfortable traits of his personality.'' This is a Peter, indeed, for today's rather chastened political tastes. Nor will Russians seeking guidance find much comfort here: ''The day when Peter the Great and his reforms cease to be a live issue in Russia,'' Hughes advises, ''will be the day when Russia finally resolves the 'cursed question' of its true identity and its relationship with the outside world.'' I might, as a fellow petroved (Peter freak), beg to differ with Hughes here and there, but I won't. Too much of what she says seems to me right on target. Her exhaustive research in Russian sources, including archives in Russia in company with leading Russian specialists, is virtually faultless. The attention she pays to Peter's opponents in Russia, to his court, both mock and real, to family and friends, to women -- to people --can only be welcomed, and should be weighed against her somewhat perfunctory if lengthy treatment of war and diplomacy, economics and government. Her detailed depiction of developments in education, the fine arts, book culture and language is also most welcome, and similarly distinguishes her book from its rivals. Sex, music, medicine, dress, manners, hair codes -- seemingly nothing of any consequence is ignored. On larger matters, Hughes demonstrates that Russia's ''international status had grown immeasurably'' under Peter, but then asks, in effect, ''so what?'' Acknowledging that ''in a number of respects Russia was a very different place . . . when Peter died from what it had been . . . when he came to the throne,'' she demands to know: ''But did change mean 'progress,' and did progress mean improvement? Was Russia better or worse off as a result of Peter's reforms?'' Like a good teacher, she doesn't really tell us what she thinks, but we emerge from her course invigorated, our noses well rubbed in the data, ready to argue with the historians, politicians and ideologues she quotes and eager to advance our own views. My own construction of much of the evidence adduced by Hughes and others is that what happened of greatest historical consequence in Russia under Peter was a kind of cultural revolution -- a term that Hughes hazards a time or two but then, oddly, drops. From a position on the fringes, at best, of Europe, Russia by Peter's death had become a full member of the European state system and had begun the process of economic integration. But these political and economic developments, sudden yet long lasting, major not minor, inevitably bore innumerable cultural connotations, as did Peter's vast expansion of Russia's armed forces and his creation of a Russian Navy; and all was done in close accord with prevailing European norms (techniques, practices, values), hitherto largely or wholly unknown in Russia. Add to this the deliberate importation of European learning and dress codes (elite Russians had previously dressed in what Europeans regarded as ''Oriental,'' Turkish-style attire), the creation of St. Petersburg, the foundation of a Russian Academy of Sciences and so forth, and we have on our hands nothing less than a full-scale cultural revolution. How to evaluate it is another question entirely, and one that has produced, in fact, most of the controversy. We need consider only the verbal dimension of Peter's revolution to see the point clearly. Hughes cites the figures: some 3,500 new words -- German, French, Dutch, English, Italian, Swedish in origin -- entered Russian in Peter's period, roughly one-fourth of them shipping and naval terms, one-fourth administrative, one-fourth military and one-fourth other (commercial, medical, mathematical, architectural, you name it). Many of these borrowings, Hughes concedes (I would guess most, but much work remains to be done in this area), ''remain in the vocabulary today.'' This was a lexical invasion, deliberately promoted, of entirely unprecedented scope in Russia (perhaps anywhere) and is as sure an indicator of a cultural revolution as one could ask for. he revolution had its visual component, too, a point that Hughes also documents. One chapter begins: ''There are few better places to experience the palpable differences between late Muscovite and Petrine culture than in Russia's national art collections,'' where, as she leads us through the rooms, the iconic representations of dead saints typical for centuries of Russian visual culture suddenly give way to naturalistic portraiture, ''a gallery of royal personages, ladies and gentlemen indistiguishable in dress and hairstyle, if not always in the quality of the painting, from their European counterparts.'' But she immediately asks ''to what extent do the selected images in the Petrine portrait gallery reflect Russian reality?'' (what's ''real''?), and we are treated to pages of often fascinating information derived from visual sources -- buildings, coins, sculpture and prints as well as paintings (flags, seals, maps, coats of arms and medals might have been added) -- accompanied by commentary suggesting that our guide is either not sure what it all means or is too reticent to tell us. Hughes's approach to the history of Peter's era is scarcely touched by the turn to social science in recent British-American history writing, still less by the advent of culture studies (the term ''discourse'' does not appear even once in her hundreds of pages of text and notes). Nor does she provide more than a cursory review of the historical scholarship on Peter, or any systematic source criticism. Still, this is not a book for the casual reader, nor even your average history buff, who might well find its detail overwhelming. This is rather a scholar's compilation, so organized -- with its full index and bibliography, lengthy chronology of events and topical arrangement of chapters and sections -- as to facilitate ready reference, the whole attractively printed with an absolute minimum of gaffes, all as befits the leading British authority on the subject and her distinguished publisher. James Cracraft, a professor of history and university scholar at the University of Illinois, Chicago, is the author of ''The Petrine Revolution in Russian Imagery'' and editor of ''Peter the Great Transforms Russia.'' Return to the Books Home Page

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