Here is Russian history focussed on when her ruler, Peter the Great, turned West. The main body of the text highlights the great "new Russia" formed in the years 1648-1772. The scene shifts from Moscow in its heyday, to St. Petersburg. Peter was treated as a barbarian when he visited Western potentates, and made up his mind to show his might. He built a vast fleet; he trained a vast army; he was the aggressor in an endless succession of foreign wars; he extended Russia's boundaries to the West. Here is Russia's history, and Peter's story too - the story of a man great in his age, whose stamp was put on his country for all time.