Editorial

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Undesirable Outcome
January 01, 2022

Undesirable Outcome

The history of Russia since 2008 has been to repeatedly lop off appendages – nose, ears, digits – to spite itself. Obsessed by erroneous threats, it has invaded its neighbors, quashed all democratic activity, rigged votes, interfered in foreign elections, harbored and/or enabled international cybercrime… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

All Good Things
November 01, 2021

All Good Things

In which we say goodbye to a longtime editor and look toward the future by looking back.

Profiles in Courage
September 01, 2021

Profiles in Courage

It takes something special in a human being to create a thing from scratch, to see a slab of stone and carve it into a sculpture, to see an empty storefront and turn it into a store, to sketch out a multistory building on paper and then shepherd it into existence in the real world.

Spring at Last
May 01, 2021

Spring at Last

The maple sap has finished running, the peepers are filling the hours about dusk with their chorus, and the daffodils and crocuses have taken center stage.

On Creativity
March 01, 2021

On Creativity

The thematic arc that unites our features in this issue is that of creativity in the face of neglect, persistence in the face of oppression, resilience in the face of difficulty.

600
January 01, 2021

600

This issue of Russian Life is issue number 600. Given this milestone, I would like to give a shout out to some of our unsung heroes.

Revolutionary Acts
November 01, 2020

Revolutionary Acts

As the stories for this issue coalesced, I realized that all of our long feature stories were actually about the same thing: the power of language and the elusiveness of truth.

Where in the World?
September 01, 2020

Where in the World?

At a time when international travel has come to a screeching halt, I can think of little better service our magazine can provide than to take readers to far-flung places.

Destiny's Child?
July 01, 2020

Destiny's Child?

“Geography is destiny,” Napoleon is said to have uttered. Shortly afterward he invaded Russia, proving both his maxim and that of one of his imperialistic predecessors, Julius Caesar: “It’s only hubris if I fail.”

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

Martin Roemers: Relics of the Cold War
April 10, 2022 to October 23, 2022

Martin Roemers: Relics of the Cold War

Wende Museum | Culver City, CA

On view in the Wende’s West Gallery and garden, this exhibition presents work by Dutch photographer Martin Roemers from 1998 through 2009, when he captured the structural and topographic remnants of the Cold War in both the East and West over an eleven-year period.

Pysanka: Symbol of Renewal
May 26, 2022 to July 24, 2022

Pysanka: Symbol of Renewal

Museum of Russian Icons | Clinton, MA

Maine-based contemporary artist Lesia Sochor's exhibition inspired by the beautiful tradition of intricately decorated Ukrainian Easter egg painting.

The Art of Icon Painting
June 18, 2022 to July 16, 2022

The Art of Icon Painting

Christ Chirch | Kennebunk, Maine

Master icon maker and art historian, Marina Forbes, will offer "The Art of Icon Painting" workshop at the Christ Church in Kennebunk, ME.

Russian-Language Gallery Tour
February 22, 2022 to February 22, 2032

Russian-Language Gallery Tour

Brooklyn Museum | Brooklyn, NY

Russian-language tour exploring our collection in depth, second Sunday of each month at 1 pm. Free, reservations required

A Few of Our Books

Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.

Popular Articles

Using Laughter to Cope
September 07, 2021

Using Laughter to Cope

These eight outstanding Soviet comedies show ​​some of what has made Russians laugh over the past century. Most are still watched today. (First in our new series on learning about Russia through its films.)

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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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