This is a chronicle of the Livonian War (1558-1583) as seen by a minister of Reval (modern Tallinn) in Estonia. Contemporaries praised it both for its lively narrative and the importance of the topic. Even today historians and literary specialists are enthusiastic about the strength and grace of this work. For most historians, however, the significance of The Chronicle of Balthasar Russow lies not in the author's style, nor his insight, but in his portrayal of an era dominated by strong-willed and ambitious men. Depressingly, these men were often amoral and angry, misguided and scheming, frightened and fearful, but also deeply religious and bound to complex codes of honor. Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of all the Russias, was the most extreme in his expression of these contradictory characteristics.
$15 hardback, $10 paper, plus $3.50 postage and handling. Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, 5600 South Claremont Ave., Chicago IL 60636-1039.