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Wither Russia?
July 01, 2016

Wither Russia?

By Paul E. Richardson

In which we review four books: I’m Going to Ruin Their Lives, by Marc Bennetts; Black Wind, White Snow, by Charles Clover; The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep, by David Satter; and The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky. All reviews are posted in our Book Reviews section.

Tsars, War and Komiks
September 01, 2015

Tsars, War and Komiks

By Paul E. Richardson

Books we liked, including Dominc Lieven's "The End of Tsarist Russia," Anthony Marra's "The Tsar of Love and Techno," Denise Youngblood's "Bondarchuk's War and Peace," and Jose Alaniz's "Komiks: Comic Art in Russia."

A Dangerous Woman and a Soviet Kid
May 01, 2015

A Dangerous Woman and a Soviet Kid

By Paul E. Richardson

In which we review "A Very Dangerous Woman," by Deborah McDonald and Jeremy Dronfield; "The Complete Folktales of A.N. Afanas'ev," by Jack V. Haney; "USSR: Diary of a Perestroika Kid," by Vladimir Kozlov; "Moscow, St. Petersburg & The Golden Ring," by Masha Nordbye; and "High Society Dinners," by Yuri Lotman.

Prison, Alexis and Siberia
March 01, 2015

Prison, Alexis and Siberia

By Paul E. Richardson

Reviews of a book by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, "My Fellow Prisoners," "Alexis in America, by Lee Farrow, "Midnight in Siberia," by by NPR host David Greene, "Trepanation of the Skull," by Sergei Gandlevsky, and "An American Diplomat in Bolshevik Russia," by DeWitt Clinton Poole.

Two Megalomaniacs
January 01, 2015

Two Megalomaniacs

By Paul E. Richardson

A review of two books on megalomaniacal personalities, The Baron's Cloak, by Willard Sunderland, and Limonov by Emmanuel Carrere. See our reviews section for full reviews.

Memoirs and History
November 01, 2014

Memoirs and History

By Paul E. Richardson

A review of Elena Gorokhova's memoir, Russian Tatoo, The Devil's Alliance, by Roger Moorhouse, and The Kreutzer Sonata Variations, translated by Michael Katz. Also, a look at the amazing photo album book, Soviet Ghosts, by Rebecca Litchfield.

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

A Few of Our Books

The Spine of Russia

The Spine of Russia

This coffee table book is the photographic journal of an epic 6000-kilometer road trip. The book includes over 200 compelling images of Russians and Russian places met along the way, plus a dozen texts (in both English and Russian) on everything from business to education, from roads to fools.
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.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
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.
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 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.
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 Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
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.

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