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Make Not War Art
November 03, 2021

Make Not War Art

"In connection with the incident, the State Hermitage was forced to apply to the prosecutor's office of St. Petersburg with a statement to conduct a prosecutor's check and assess the actions of a citizen for possible violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation, including in terms of public insult to the memory of the Defenders of the Fatherland.”

– Press Service of the St. Petersburg Hermitage, announcing it would be reviewing an artist’s behavior for potentially insulting the veterans of the Patriotic War of 1812.
The Timid Path
November 01, 2021

The Timid Path

On December 12, 1801, 23-year-old Tsar Alexander I issued an ukaz. This particular decree was not something historians have considered extremely significant in the scheme of Alexander’s reign, but it merits attention for a few reasons.

Death of an Empress
November 01, 2021

Death of an Empress

Empress Elizabeth Petrovna breathed her last in December of 1761, in her St. Petersburg palace. By any standard, Peter the Great’s second daughter had lived an unusual life.

The Road Ahead
November 01, 2021

The Road Ahead

People often ask me what lies ahead for Russia. This question always surprises me. It suggests that people think historians are part prophet, as if knowing a lot about the past means you can predict the future.

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.

Dreadful Terror
November 01, 2021

Dreadful Terror

Dostoyevsky’s chance visit to a museum led to a chilling, life-changing encounter with an artist long dead, but whose work was very much alive. It would make an appearance in the writer’s next novel. 

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 9
June 09, 2024

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 9

Star of the Sea Church | San Francisco, California

San Francisco's Slavyanka Chorus invites you to a concert featuring a colorful tapestry of folk songs and sacred hymns by renowned women composers.

Roma Rhapsody
June 15, 2024

Roma Rhapsody

Capital One Hall | Tysons, Virginia

The Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra's Spring Concert, Roma Rhapsody, will be at 7:30 pm on Saturday June 15, 2024.

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 8
June 08, 2024

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 8

First Congregational Church | Palo Alto, California

San Francisco's Slavyanka Chorus invites you to a concert featuring a colorful tapestry of folk songs and sacred hymns by renowned women composers.

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 7
June 07, 2024

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 7

St. Mark's Episcopal Church | Berkeley, California

San Francisco's Slavyanka Chorus invites you to a concert featuring a colorful tapestry of folk songs and sacred hymns by renowned women composers.

A Few of Our Books

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.
Tolstoy Bilingual

Tolstoy Bilingual

This compact, yet surprisingly broad look at the life and work of Tolstoy spans from one of his earliest stories to one of his last, looking at works that made him famous and others that made him notorious. 
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
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.
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.
At the Circus (bilingual)

At the Circus (bilingual)

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Okudzhava Bilingual

Okudzhava Bilingual

Poems, songs and autobiographical sketches by Bulat Okudzhava, the king of the Russian bards. 
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.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Russian Rules

Russian Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.

Popular Articles

Why Don't Russians Smile?
January 10, 2014

Why Don't Russians Smile?

It is a common trope that Russians never smile. Which of course is interpreted to mean they are unfriendly, gloomy, sullen – positively Dostoyevskian. This, of course, is a complete misreading of body language and cultural norms.

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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