Thompson’s study of Russian literature and Empire develops themes of colonial power and identity found in the works of Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and others. The book develops upon the theme of Empire in these works and Tsarist Russia’s position as a colonial power. Thompson argues that Russia’s position within the postcolonial world is a unique one, because, unlike the Western and Eastern colonies discourse upon their position in the light of their former colonial oppression, the countries which were occupied by Tsarist Russia as colonial states have remained silent about their position in colonial history and the modern postcolonial context. Thompson argues that this is largely due to the lack of knowledge from without the Russian principalities to their position, and the constant collective force of Western culture to continue to categorize such countries as encompassed within the Russian nation. As Thompson states, "They continue to be perceived within the paradigms relevant to Russia, the objects of Russian perception rather than subjects responding to their own histories, perceptions, and interests"(Thompson). Thompson also illustrates how postcolonial theory has continued to ignore the position of Russia within their framework. By placing postcolonialism into a binary of East vs West, where "East" means the subaltern and "West" the oppressors, postcolonial theory denies the possibility of Eastern imperial powers and colonialization which existed and continue to exist. Thompson goes on to state how this binary is overly simplistic and the world cannot be compartmentalized into such categories. Russia, a nation at the crossroads of East and West, constructed its own history of colonizer and colonized in its political systems and cultural communities. Thus, the literature of the Russian Imperial age is fraught with Imperial traditions and Empire-building imaginings.