History

Natasha's Dance

A Cultural History of Russia

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1466862890

Category: History

Page: 544

View: 5466

History on a grand scale--an enchanting masterpiece that explores the making of one of the world's most vibrant civilizations A People's Tragedy, wrote Eric Hobsbawm, did "more to help us understand the Russian Revolution than any other book I know." Now, in Natasha's Dance, internationally renowned historian Orlando Figes does the same for Russian culture, summoning the myriad elements that formed a nation and held it together. Beginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St. Petersburg--a "window on the West"--and culminating with the challenges posed to Russian identity by the Soviet regime, Figes examines how writers, artists, and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself--its character, spiritual essence, and destiny. He skillfully interweaves the great works--by Dostoevsky, Stravinsky, and Chagall--with folk embroidery, peasant songs, religious icons, and all the customs of daily life, from food and drink to bathing habits to beliefs about the spirit world. Figes's characters range high and low: the revered Tolstoy, who left his deathbed to search for the Kingdom of God, as well as the serf girl Praskovya, who became Russian opera's first superstar and shocked society by becoming her owner's wife. Like the European-schooled countess Natasha performing an impromptu folk dance in Tolstoy's War and Peace, the spirit of "Russianness" is revealed by Figes as rich and uplifting, complex and contradictory--a powerful force that unified a vast country and proved more lasting than any Russian ruler or state.
History

A Concise History of Russia

Author: Paul Bushkovitch

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139504444

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 8521

Accessible to students, tourists and general readers alike, this book provides a broad overview of Russian history since the ninth century. Paul Bushkovitch emphasizes the enormous changes in the understanding of Russian history resulting from the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, new material has come to light on the history of the Soviet era, providing new conceptions of Russia's pre-revolutionary past. The book traces not only the political history of Russia, but also developments in its literature, art and science. Bushkovitch describes well-known cultural figures, such as Chekhov, Tolstoy and Mendeleev, in their institutional and historical contexts. Though the 1917 revolution, the resulting Soviet system and the Cold War were a crucial part of Russian and world history, Bushkovitch presents earlier developments as more than just a prelude to Bolshevik power.
History

Just Send Me Word

A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 0805095233

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 7888

A heroic love story and an unprecedented inside view of one of Stalin's most notorious labor camps, based on a remarkable cache of letters smuggled in and out of the Gulag "I went to get the letters for our friends, and couldn't help but feel a little envious, I didn't expect anything for myself. And suddenly—there was my name, and, as if it was alive, your handwriting." In 1946, after five years as a prisoner—first as a Soviet POW in Nazi concentration camps, then as a deportee (falsely accused of treason) in the Arctic Gulag—twenty-nine-year-old Lev Mishchenko unexpectedly received a letter from Sveta, the sweetheart he had hardly dared hope was still alive. Amazingly, over the next eight years the lovers managed to exchange more than 1,500 messages, and even to smuggle Sveta herself into the camp for secret meetings. Their recently discovered correspondence is the only known real-time record of life in Stalin's Gulag, unmediated and uncensored. Orlando Figes, "the great storyteller of modern Russian historians" (Financial Times), draws on Lev and Sveta's letters as well as KGB archives and recent interviews to brilliantly reconstruct the broader world in which their story unfolded. With the powerful narrative drive of a novel, Just Send Me Word reveals a passion and endurance that triumphed over the tragic forces of history.
History

The Whisperers

Private Life in Stalin's Russia

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780312428037

Category: History

Page: 739

View: 9273

Provides a portrait of everyday Russian life during the repression of the Stalin years, analyzing the regime's effect on people's personal lives as they struggled to survive in the midst of the fear, mistrust, and betrayal.
History

Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991

A History

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 0805095985

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 3491

From the author of A People's Tragedy, an original reading of the Russian Revolution, examining it not as a single event but as a hundred-year cycle of violence in pursuit of utopian dreams In this elegant and incisive account, Orlando Figes offers an illuminating new perspective on the Russian Revolution. While other historians have focused their examinations on the cataclysmic years immediately before and after 1917, Figes shows how the revolution, while it changed in form and character, nevertheless retained the same idealistic goals throughout, from its origins in the famine crisis of 1891 until its end with the collapse of the communist Soviet regime in 1991. Figes traces three generational phases: Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who set the pattern of destruction and renewal until their demise in the terror of the 1930s; the Stalinist generation, promoted from the lower classes, who created the lasting structures of the Soviet regime and consolidated its legitimacy through victory in war; and the generation of 1956, shaped by the revelations of Stalin's crimes and committed to "making the Revolution work" to remedy economic decline and mass disaffection. Until the very end of the Soviet system, its leaders believed they were carrying out the revolution Lenin had begun. With the authority and distinctive style that have marked his magisterial histories, Figes delivers an accessible and paradigm-shifting reconsideration of one of the defining events of the twentieth century.
Travel

Molotov's Magic Lantern

Travels in Russian History

Author: Rachel Polonsky

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429974905

Category: Travel

Page: 416

View: 1009

When the British journalist Rachel Polonsky moves to Moscow, she discovers an apartment on Romanov Street that was once home to the Soviet elite. One of the most infamous neighbors was the ruthless apparatchik Vyacheslav Molotov, a henchman for Stalin who was a participant in the collectivizations and the Great Purge—and also an ardent bibliophile. In what was formerly Molotov's apartment, Polonsky uncovers an extensive library and an old magic lantern—two things that lead her on an extraordinary journey throughout Russia and ultimately renew her vision of the country and its people. In Molotov's Magic Lantern, Polonsky visits the haunted cities and vivid landscapes of the books from Molotov's library: works by Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Akhmatova, and others, some of whom were sent to the Gulag by the very man who collected their books. With exceptional insight and beautiful prose, Polonsky writes about the longings and aspirations of these Russian writers and others in the course of her travels from the Arctic to Siberia and from the forests around Moscow to the vast steppes. A singular homage to Russian history and culture, Molotov's Magic Lantern evokes the spirit of the great artists and the haunted past of a country ravaged by war, famine, and totalitarianism.
Russia

A People's Tragedy

The Russian Revolution 1891-1924

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1847924514

Category: Russia

Page: 976

View: 7406

Unrivalled in scope and brimming with human drama, A People's Tragedy is the most vivid, moving and comprehensive history of the Russian Revolution available today. 'A modern masterpiece' Andrew Marr 'The most moving account of the Russian Revolution since Doctor Zhivago' Independent Opening with a panorama of Russian society, from the cloistered world of the Tsar to the brutal life of the peasants, A People's Tragedy follows workers, soldiers, intellectuals and villagers as their world is consumed by revolution and then degenerates into violence and dictatorship. Drawing on vast original research, Figes conveys above all the shocking experience of the revolution for those who lived it, while providing the clearest and most cogent account of how and why it unfolded. Illustrated with over 100 photographs and now including a new introduction that reflects on the revolution's centennial legacy, A People's Tragedy is a masterful and definitive record of one of the most important events in modern history.
Biography & Autobiography

Russian dance

a true story of intrigue and passion in Stalinist Moscow

Author: Andrée Aelion Brooks

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 287

View: 6908

The true story of Helene Rubinoff, a Russian refugee in Jazz Age New York who forsook her comfortable life with her impresario husband and his celebrity salons, and her beloved daughter, to follow her lover back to an uncertain fate in 1930s Russia.
History

Peasant Russia, Civil War

The Volga Countryside in Revolution, 1917-1921

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

ISBN: 9781842124215

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 8973

Why and how did the October 1917 revolution occur in Russia? Often overlooked as a crucial factor in the Bolsheviks' victory was the role of the peasantry. Here is an enthralling portrait of this poor but sizable population on the eve of the uprising; of the breakdown of state power in the countryside; and, most important, of the relationship between the serfs and the Bolsheviks during the civil war. An enlightening approach, illustrated with disturbing contemporary images.
History

Interpreting the Russian Revolution

The Language and Symbols of 1917

Author: Orlando Figes,B. I. Kolonit͡skiĭ

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780300081060

Category: History

Page: 198

View: 7071

The authors examine the diverse ways that language and other symbols--including flags and emblems, public rituals, songs, and codes of dress--were used to identify competing sides and to create new meanings in Russia's political struggles of 1917. 32 illustrations.
Social Science

Kabul in Winter

Life Without Peace in Afghanistan

Author: Ann Jones

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1466827653

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 5076

A sharp and arresting people's-eye view of real life in Afghanistan after the Taliban Soon after the bombing of Kabul ceased, award-winning journalist and women's rights activist Ann Jones set out for the shattered city, determined to bring help where her country had brought destruction. Here is her trenchant report from inside a city struggling to rise from the ruins. Working among the multitude of impoverished war widows, retraining Kabul's long-silenced English teachers, and investigating the city's prison for women, Jones enters a large community of female outcasts: runaway child brides, pariah prostitutes, cast-off wives, victims of rape. In the streets and markets, she hears the Afghan view of the supposed benefits brought by the fall of the Taliban, and learns that regarding women as less than human is the norm, not the aberration of one conspicuously repressive regime. Jones confronts the ways in which Afghan education, culture, and politics have repeatedly been hijacked—by Communists, Islamic fundamentalists, and the Western free marketeers—always with disastrous results. And she reveals, through small events, the big disjunctions: between U.S promises and performance, between the new "democracy" and the still-entrenched warlords, between what's boasted of and what is. At once angry, profound, and starkly beautiful, Kabul in Winter brings alive the people and day-to-day life of a place whose future depends so much upon our own.
History

Icon and Axe

An Interpretative History of Russian Culture

Author: James Billington

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307765288

Category: History

Page: 880

View: 521

"A rich and readable introduction to the whole sweep of Russian cultural and intellectual history from Kievan times to the post-Khruschev era." - Library Journal. Illustrations, references, index. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Russia

A History of Russia

Author: Vasiliĭ Osipovich Kli͡uchevskiĭ

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Russia

Page: N.A

View: 8423

History

The Crimean War

A History

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 9781429997249

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 5797

Please note that the maps available in the print edition do not appear in the ebook. From "the great storyteller of modern Russian historians," (Financial Times) the definitive account of the forgotten war that shaped the modern age The Charge of the Light Brigade, Florence Nightingale—these are the enduring icons of the Crimean War. Less well-known is that this savage war (1853-1856) killed almost a million soldiers and countless civilians; that it enmeshed four great empires—the British, French, Turkish, and Russian—in a battle over religion as well as territory; that it fixed the fault lines between Russia and the West; that it set in motion the conflicts that would dominate the century to come. In this masterly history, Orlando Figes reconstructs the first full conflagration of modernity, a global industrialized struggle fought with unusual ferocity and incompetence. Drawing on untapped Russian and Ottoman as well as European sources, Figes vividly depicts the world at war, from the palaces of St. Petersburg to the holy sites of Jerusalem; from the young Tolstoy reporting in Sevastopol to Tsar Nicolas, haunted by dreams of religious salvation; from the ordinary soldiers and nurses on the battlefields to the women and children in towns under siege.. Original, magisterial, alive with voices of the time, The Crimean War is a historical tour de force whose depiction of ethnic cleansing and the West's relations with the Muslim world resonates with contemporary overtones. At once a rigorous, original study and a sweeping, panoramic narrative, The Crimean War is the definitive account of the war that mapped the terrain for today's world..
Literary Criticism

Give War and Peace a Chance

Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times

Author: Andrew D. Kaufman

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451644728

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 288

View: 2809

“This lively appreciation of one of the most intimidating and massive novels ever written should persuade many hesitant readers to try scaling the heights of War and Peace sooner rather than later” (Publishers Weekly). Considered by many critics the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is also one of the most feared. And at 1,500 pages, it’s no wonder why. Still, in July 2009 Newsweek put War and Peace at the top of its list of 100 great novels and a 2007 edition of the AARP Bulletin included the novel in their list of the top four books everybody should read by the age of fifty. A New York Times survey from 2009 identified War and Peace as the world classic you’re most likely to find people reading on their subway commute to work. What might all those Newsweek devotees, senior citizens, and harried commuters see in a book about the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s? War and Peace is many things. It is a love story, a family saga, a war novel. But at its core it’s a novel about human beings attempting to create a meaningful life for themselves in a country torn apart by war, social change, political intrigue, and spiritual confusion. It is a mirror of our times. Give War and Peace a Chance takes readers on a journey through War and Peace that reframes their very understanding of what it means to live through troubled times and survive them. Touching on a broad range of topics, from courage to romance, parenting to death, Kaufman demonstrates how Tolstoy’s wisdom can help us live fuller, more meaningful lives. The ideal companion to War and Peace, this book “makes Tolstoy’s characters lively and palpable…and may well persuade readers to finally dive into one of the world’s most acclaimed—and daunting—novels” (Kirkus Reviews).
Biography & Autobiography

Tolstoy

A Russian Life

Author: Rosamund Bartlett

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 0547545878

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 544

View: 5003

This biography of the brilliant author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina “should become the first resort for everyone drawn to its titanic subject” (Booklist, starred review). In November 1910, Count Lev Tolstoy died at a remote Russian railway station. At the time of his death, he was the most famous man in Russia, more revered than the tsar, with a growing international following. Born into an aristocratic family, Tolstoy spent his existence rebelling against not only conventional ideas about literature and art but also traditional education, family life, organized religion, and the state. In “an epic biography that does justice to an epic figure,” Rosamund Bartlett draws extensively on key Russian sources, including fascinating material that has only become available since the collapse of the Soviet Union (Library Journal, starred review). She sheds light on Tolstoy’s remarkable journey from callow youth to writer to prophet; discusses his troubled relationship with his wife, Sonya; and vividly evokes the Russian landscapes Tolstoy so loved and the turbulent times in which he lived.
Fiction

The Master and Margarita

Author: Mikhail Bulgakov

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802190510

Category: Fiction

Page: 402

View: 7126

I first read Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita on a balcony of the Hotel Metropole in Saigon on three summer evenings in 1971. The tropical air was heavy and full of the smells of cordite and motorcycle exhaust and rotting fish and wood-fire stoves, and the horizon flared ambiguously, perhaps from heat lightning, perhaps from bombs. Later each night, as was my custom, I would wander out into the steamy back alleys of the city, where no one ever seemed to sleep, and crouch in doorways with the people and listen to the stories of their culture and their ancestors and their ongoing lives. Bulgakov taught me to hear something in those stories that I had not yet clearly heard. One could call it, in terms that would soon thereafter gain wide currency, "magical realism". The deadpan mix of the fantastic and the realistic was at the heart of the Vietnamese mythos. It is at the heart of the present zeitgeist. And it was not invented by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as wonderful as his One Hundred Years of Solitude is. Garcia Marquez's landmark work of magical realism was predated by nearly three decades by Bulgakov's brilliant masterpiece of a novel. That summer in Saigon a vodka-swilling, talking black cat, a coven of beautiful naked witches, Pontius Pilate, and a whole cast of benighted writers of Stalinist Moscow and Satan himself all took up permanent residence in my creative unconscious. Their presence, perhaps more than anything else from the realm of literature, has helped shape the work I am most proud of. I'm often asked for a list of favorite authors. Here is my advice. Read Bulgakov. Look around you at the new century. He will show you things you need to see.
Fiction

The Russian Debutante's Handbook

Author: Gary Shteyngart

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781573229883

Category: Fiction

Page: 476

View: 1288

In a novel about being an outsider in America and what it means to be an American, Vladimir, a young Russian-American immigrant, pursues his dreams of success, wealth, and a girlfriend, as his quest takes him deep into uncharted territory.
History

Red Fortress

History and Illusion in the Kremlin

Author: Catherine Merridale

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 0805098372

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 9439

A magisterial, richly detailed history of the Kremlin, and of the centuries of Russian elites who have shaped it—and been shaped by it in turn The Moscow Kremlin is the heart of the Russian state, a fortress whose blood-red walls have witnessed more than eight hundred years of political drama and extraordinary violence. It has been the seat of a priestly monarchy, a worldly church and the Soviet Union; it has served as a crossroads for diplomacy, trade, and espionage; it has survived earthquakes, devastating fires, and at least three revolutions. Its very name is a byword for enduring power. From Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin, generations of Russian leaders have sought to use the Kremlin to legitimize their vision of statehood. Drawing on a dazzling array of sources from hitherto unseen archives and rare collections, renowned historian Catherine Merridale traces the full history of this enigmatic fortress. The Kremlin has inspired innumerable myths, but no invented tales could be more dramatic than the operatic successions and savage betrayals that took place within its vast compound of palaces and cathedrals. Today, its sumptuous golden crosses and huge electric red stars blaze side by side as the Kremlin fulfills its centuries-old role, linking the country's recent history to its distant past and proclaiming the eternal continuity of the Russian state. More than an absorbing history of Russia's most famous landmark, Red Fortress uses the Kremlin as a unique lens, bringing into focus the evolution of Russia's culture and the meaning of its politics.
Fiction

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

from War and Peace

Author: Leo Tolstoy

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0525436251

Category: Fiction

Page: 32

View: 2433

Dave Malloy here presents the stunning twenty-two chapter selection from Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace that formed the basis of his hit Broadway sensation, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812—called “the most innovative and the best new musical since Hamilton” by the New York Times. While Prince Andrei Bolkonsky is kept at the front during Napoleon’s invasion in 1812, his betrothed, a young Natasha, catches the attention of Moscow society’s notorious playboy—the dashing, rogue Anatole. It falls to Prince Andrei’s friend, the wealthy, slothful, philosophizing aristocrat Pierre to rescue Natasha’s reputation and make amends between her and Andrei. A Vintage Shorts ebook Selection.