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Tuesday, December 04, 2007
It's that time of year again. Time to find something for the Russophile in your life. Or time to find something russophilic for friends yet to be bitten by the bug. So we have pulled together information on some great ideas that are sure to satisfy.
Books always make great gifts. And there never seems to be a shortage of books on Russia. Suzanne Massie's Land of the Firebird is a fabulous introduction to Russian culture and history, and her profile of Pavlovsk palace is an intimate glimpse at an interesting facet of Russian history (207-374-5748).
A new book on the brothers and artists Sergei and Aleksei Tkachev, Masters of Russian Impressionism, has been published by The Museum of Russian Art (952-914-0200). It is a wonderful art book filled with beautiful examples of the Tkachev's art, plus an insightful introduction. The Museum also has another fine book, Soviet Impressionism; be sure to ask about that one as well!
Stanford University Press has a new book out (The Big Show in Bololand) on the little known chapter of Russian history that was the US rescue effort after the Russian Civil War (the period after that covered by our article on page 50).
How about videos? For videos on the Second World War and some little-known chapters in Russian history, you'll want to contact International Historic Films (773-927-2900).
The company Portable Film Festivals (877-477-2835) has rediscovered four interesting Russian films and added subtitling in English. This makes them a great way to study Russian, aside from the fact that these are nice films.
Of course, if you have a real Russian film lover on your hands (the technical term is Russofilmophile), you could get them a year's subscription to the Russian Television Network, and they can watch Russian films, news and TV serials-direct from Russia! (800-222-2RTN; a Russian movie channel is available)
What about music? For those with a special interest in Russian choral or church music (including sheet music), check out Musica Russica.
At Sunbirds' website you can search by artist, era, subject, price range and more. They specialize in lacquer boxes, but also offer lacquered eggs, matryoshkas, carved gifts, brooches, plates and more.
Kremlin Gifts also headlines with their lacquer boxes, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. They offer fine shawls, Gzhel, matryoshkas, Khokhloma, dolls, icons and more.
Call, email or browse through what both these fine companies have to offer - you are sure to find just the right gift for someone special.
Exclusive Collections offers authentic Russian perfumes and beauty products on its website and in its New York showroom (888-870-5437). They offer everything from colognes for men to body splashes and perfumes for women, to fun shampoos for kids.
Alexei Stakhanov mined 102 tons of coal in under 6 hours, sparking the Stakhanovite movement. But did he really do it all by himself, by his own initiative? The son of a miner from Blagoveshchensk recalls evidence of unnamed assistants and fishy bureaucratic orders.
Andrei Platonov spawned many an incongruous image and incomprehensible sentence. Compared by some scholars to James Joyce, he was critiqued by Stalin himself, yet he avoided prosecution. We dig into his challenging literary style.Read More
After just 22 years of independence, in 1940 Estonia was overrun by Soviet troops. The Estonian Socialist Republic was set up in the wake of th Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in violation of nearly all existing legislation. And Stalinism's evils had the Estonians, just a year later, greeting German invaders with open arms. But trading one totalitarian dictator for another didn't solve the problem.
Everyone in the Soviet Union knew his songs, despite constant censorship and troubles with the Soviet regime. To this day, any Russian will recognize his raspy singing voice and silly falsetto. But what was the great Vladimir Vysotsky like in person?Read More
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