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1983: The Scariest Year
March 04, 2013

1983: The Scariest Year

By Paul E. Richardson

Ambassador Jack Matlock had a front row seat for the final days of the US-Soviet Cold War and the collapse of the USSR. While working on his article, 1983: The Scariest Year (Mar/Apr 2013), Russian Life Publisher Paul Richardson conducted an email interview with Matlock, which is produced here in its entirety.

Romney = Russian for
September 14, 2012

Romney = Russian for "Cold Warrior"

By Paul E. Richardson

 

By launching the flabby Cold War trope that Russia is our "geopolitical adversary," Mitt Romney has exhibited yet another symptom of foot-in-mouth disease on foreign policy...

 
On PBS this Month: The Great Famine
April 01, 2011

On PBS this Month: The Great Famine

By Paul E. Richardson

Today, Herbert Hoover – the 31st president of the United States (1929-1933) – is probably most associated with the onset and deepening of the Great Depression. Few know that prior to his presidency he was a successful international mining engineer (and had some lucrative investments in Russia before the Revolution), and later headed up the ARA (American Relief Administration), designed to deliver needed foreign aid to Belgium in the aftermath of World War I. 

Freedom Fries
November 09, 2009

Freedom Fries

By Paul E. Richardson

I will forever associate the fall of the Berlin Wall with french fries. In 1989, my wife and I were living and working in Moscow. Our friend Bob was apartment-sitting in the American embassy complex; and on November 9 he invited us over for dinner...

The Bogeyman
August 12, 2009

The Bogeyman

By Paul E. Richardson

When it comes to bogeymen, China, Cuba, even North Korea can't hold a candle to old Mother Russia. This week, as tempers flared and theatrical protests abounded around health care, a woman offered this irrational take on proposed reforms at a town hall meeting ...

From Mikhail to Michael
July 13, 2009

From Mikhail to Michael

By Paul E. Richardson

Four years ago, in August 2005, then Senator Barack Obama was detained for three hours at a Siberian airport. Obama, with Senator Dick Lugar, was on a US delegation touring nuclear warhead storage and disposal sites. Russian border guards insisted on searching the delegation's plane. The senators refused...

Afghanistan: A Second Chance?
February 20, 2009

Afghanistan: A Second Chance?

By Paul E. Richardson

Thirty years ago, in 1979, the Persian Gulf was a tinderbox. On January 16, following months of uprisings, the Shah of Iran was overthrown. One month later, it looked like Afghanistan’s turn. The Soviet-backed thugs running the country had imposed radical social reforms, sparking a civil war and threatening pro-Soviet rule...

Gas Tussle
January 06, 2009

Gas Tussle

By Paul E. Richardson

Sometimes it can be hard to get at the facts. And given that the western media went way down the wrong road on the recent Georgian crisis, one is inclined to be skeptical of coverage on the current Russia-Ukraine gas spat. 

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

A Few of Our Books

A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part 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.
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.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
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 Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
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. 
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.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.

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