This book provides a succinct account of the major periods in evolution of Russia's 'strong state' construct by reviewing the external and internal contexts of its emergence, progression, and fall in Muscovy, St. Petersburg, Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Russia, with an emphasis on the last two decades. Each time a combination of these contexts was distinct, thereby producing different political outcomes in Russia. The book argues that a perspective on Russia from a Western viewpoint is limited and that there has been an alternative way of thinking about the nation and its problems. While focusing on contemporary developments of the Russian state, the book situates them in a broader historical context and highlights that the roots of these developments are in the Tsar's autocratic system. Russia's strong state has evolved and survived throughout centuries and that alone suggests its historical vitality and possible future revival. From this perspective, the central scholarly question is not whether Russia will recreate a strong state, but, rather, what kind of a strong state it will be and under which circumstances it is likely to function.