Peter the Great, whose reign saw the explosion of Russia onto the European scene, has become a legendary figure in history, as well as the subject of abiding controversy over the past two decades. Does he deserve the title ‘The Great’? Was he ‘enlightened’ or ‘barbaric’? Were his domestic reforms planned, or introduced as a direct result of the needs of war? Peter the Great answers key questions about his territorial expansion and domestic reforms. It reflects existing controversies and allows the reader to consider the views of a range of historians – Russian, English and American. The author avoids a narrative approach in order to focus on analysing issues that students are expected to address in their essays.