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Winner of THE PEOPLES BOOK PRIZE July 2009
The Story of the American and Russian Empires, from the Vikings to Iraq

The American road to Baghdad started when the first English settlers landed in Virginia determined to impose their values on everyone they encountered. Simultaneously the first Russians crossed the Urals and the two empires that would dominate the twentieth century were born.  Empires Apart traces the remarkable parallels in American and Russian histories up to the Cold War and beyond. More


I have read Empires Apart with great enjoyment. Brian Landers has written a piercing account of American history from its colonial beginnings to its present role as an unacknowledged empire that bestrides the world. Concerned as he is to expose the myths that nations create about themselves, he bases his analysis upon a revealing comparison of American and Russian expansion through the centuries.This technique forces the observer to recognise similarities identity differences and question why both similarities and differences exist. In a sense, then, the reader gets two books for the price of one, Russian history as well as American.

Andreas Whittam Smith

A most enjoyable and intelligent book. Brian Landers constructs a tightly argued analysis, and never loses a beguiling narrative drive.

Tim Waterstone

Simply staggering in vision, depth, development of ideas and detailed research. And it's also very readable and approachable. The analysis along the way is very revealing and a challenge to accepted thinking.

Sir Roger Martin

The American and Russian Empires deserve a Rough Guide – and Brian Landers’ book is that, and more.

Mark Ellingham