Jan/Feb 2017 Current Moscow Time: 00:34:45
22 February 2017


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Book Reviews: By Date

Here are our links to the full text of our recent book and item reviews, in date order, from newest to oldest.

:: List alphabetically, by title. ::

Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2017

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A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles (Viking $27)
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Bears in the Streets
Lisa Dickey (St. Martin's $25.99)
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Hard Times
Vasily Sleptsov, Translated by Michael Katz (Univ. of Pittsburgh, $17.95)
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The Main With the Poison Gun
Serhii Plokhy (Basic Books, $28.99)
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The Summer Guest
Alison Anderson (Harper, $27.99)
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Russian Life: Nov/Dec 2016

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All the Kremlin’s Men
By Mikhail Zygar (Public Affairs $27.99)
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The Major and The Fool
Two movies, written and directed by Yury Bykov
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Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2016

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Masha Regina
Vadim Levental (One World, $22.99)
Translated by Lisa C. Hayden

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Two by Teffi
Memories from Moscow to the Black Sea, by Teffi (NYRB, $16.95)
Tolstoy, Rasputin, Others, and Me: The Best of Teffi, Edited by Robert Chandler and Anne Marie Jackson (NYRB, 14.95)

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Russian Life: July/Aug 2016

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Black Wind, White Snow
Charles Clover (Yale, $35)
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I'm Going to Ruin Their Lives
by Marc Bennetts ( OneWorld, $14.99)
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The Invention of Russia
Arkady Ostrovsky (Viking, $30)
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The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep
David Satter (Yale, $30)
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Russian Life: May/June 2016

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Farwor, Russia
Oleg Kashin (Restless Books, $14.99)
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Konstantin Makovsky: The Tsar’s Painter in America and Paris
Wendy Salmond, Russell E. Martin, Wilfried Zeisler (Hillwood, $45)
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The Librarian
By Mikhail Elizarov (Pushkin Press, $18.95)
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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2016

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Near and Distant Neighbors
Jonathan Haslam (FSG, $30)
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Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia
by Anne Garrels (FSG $26)
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Russian Silver Age Poetry: Texts and Contexts
Eds. Sibelan E.S. Forrester and
Martha M.F. Kelly (Academic
Studies Press, $49)

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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2016

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Red Cavalry
by Isaac Babel, translated by Boris Dralyuk
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The Gates of Europe
by Serhii Plokhy (Basic Books)
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The Green Tent
by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated by Polly Gannon (FSG)
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Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2015

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Bondarchuk's War and Peace
by Denise J. Youngblood (University Press of Kansas, $29.95)
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Komiks: Comic Art in Russia
by Jose Alaniz (Univ. Press of Mississippi, $38)
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The End of Tsarist Russia
by Dominic Lieven (Viking, $35)
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The Tsar of Love and Techno
by Anthony Marra (Hogather, $25)
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Russian Life: July/Aug 2015

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Stalin: A New Biography of a Dictator
By Oleg Khlevniuk
Translated by Nora Favorov
(Yale Univ. Press, $35)

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The Great Glass Sea
By Josh Weil (Grove Press, $16)
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Russian Life: May/June 2015

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A Dangerous Woman
The Lives, Loves and Lies of Russia’s Most Seductive Spy, by Deborah McDonald and Jeremy Dronfield (Oneworld, $27.99)
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Diary of a Soviet Kid
By Vladimir Kozlov (Fiction Advocate: $18)
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High Society Dinners
by Yuri Lotman (Prospect Books, $43)
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Moscow, St. Petersburg & the Golden Ring
by Masha Nordbye (Odyssey, $27.95)
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The Complete Folktales of A.N. Afanas’ev (Vol. 1)
Edited by Jack V. Haney
(Univ. Press of Miss., $60)

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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2015

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Alexis in America
By Lee A. Farrow (LSU Press, $45)
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An American Diplomat in Bolshevik Russia
By DeWitt Clinton Poole, Lorraine M. Lees and William S. Rodner Editors (Univ. of Wisc, $26.95)
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Midnight in Siberia
By David Greene (Norton, $26.95)
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My Fellow Prisoners
By Mikhail Khodorkovsky (Overlook, $20)
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Trepanation of the Skull
Sergei Gandlyevsky (Northern Ill., $29.95) Translated by Susanne Fusso
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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2015

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Limonov
by Emmanuel Carrère (FSG, $30)
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The Baron's Cloak
by Willard Sunderland (Cornell, $35)
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Russian Life: Nov/Dec 2014

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Russian Tattoo
By Elena Gorokhova (Simon and Schuster, $26, Jan. 2015)
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Soviet Ghosts
By Rebecca Litchfield ($39.95)
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The Devil's Alliance: Hitler's Pact With Stalin
By Roger Moorhouse (Basic Books, $29.99)
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The Kreutzer Sonata Variations
By Michael R. Katz,* transl. and ed. (Yale, $40)
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Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2014

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The Captain's Daughter
By Alexander Pushkin (NYRB Classics, $14)
Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler

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The Zhivago Affair
The Kremlin, the CIA and the Battle over a Forbidden Book
By Peter Finn and Petra Couvée
(Pantheon, $26.95)

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With Light Steam
A personal journey through the Russian baths
By Bryon MacWilliams (NIU Press, $24.95)


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Russian Life: July/Aug 2014

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Hard to Be a God
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (Chicago Review Press, $19.95)
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Stalin's American Spy
Tony Sharp (Hurst, $35)
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The Denouncer
Paul M. Levitt (Rowman, $11.99 paperback; August 2014)
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Russian Life: May/June 2014

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Lenin Lives Next Door
By Jennifer Eremeeva
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Russian-English Dictionary of Idioms
By Sophia Lubensky
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The Putin Mystique: Inside Russia's Power Cult
by Anna Arutunyan
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The Spectre of Alexander Wolf
and An Evening with Claire, by Gaito Gazdanov
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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2014

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A Very Principled Boy
By Mark Bradley (Basic Books, $29.99, April)
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Born in Siberia
By Tamara Astafieva (Quartet Books, $22)
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Rescuing Julia Twice
By Tina Traster (Chicago Review Press, $24.95, May)
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Russian Roulette
By Giles Milton (Bloomsbury, $28, May)
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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2014

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Fragile Empire
Ben Judah (Yale)
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Paranoia
Victor Martinovich (NUP)
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The Golden Lynx
C.P. Lesley (Five Directions)
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What Every Russian Knows (and You Don’t)
Olga Fedina (Anaconda Editions)
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Russian Life: Nov/Dec 2013

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Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales
Sibelan Forrester, transl. and ed. (Univ. Press of Mississippi)
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Babayaga
Toby Barlow (FSG)
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Happy People
Werner von Herzog
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Historical Dictionary of Russian Literature
Jonathan Stone (Scarecrow Press)
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Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking
Anya von Bremzen (Crown)
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Red Fortress
Catherine Merridale (Henry Holt)
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The Dark Matter of Love
Documentary
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The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union
Peter Sadovnik (Basic Books)
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Year of Night
By Kate Beswick
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Russian Life: July/Aug 2013

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Long, Long Tales from the Russian North
Jack V. Haney, translator and editor
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Maidenhair
By Mikhail Shishkin
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Murder at the Dacha
By Alexei Bayer
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The Dostoyevsky Archive
Peter Sekirin, editor
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The House of Special Purpose
By John Boyne
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The Occult in Tsarist Russia
By Thomas E. Berry
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The Twelfth Department
By William Ryan
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Russian Life: May/June 2013

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Lina & Serge
The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev, by Simon Morrison (Houghton Mifflin, $26)
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Moscow 1937
Karl Schlögel (Polity Press, $35)
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The Black Russian
Vladimir Alexandrov (Atlantic Monthly, $25)
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Twilight of the Romanovs
A Photographic Odyssey Across Imperial Russia, by Philipp Blom and Veronica Buckley (Thames & Hudson, $60)
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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2013

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City Pick: St. Petersburg
Heather Reyes, Marina Samsonova, James Rann, eds. (Oxygen Books, $10.75)
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Stalin's Barber
By Paul Levitt (Taylor Trade, $26,95)
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The Last Man in Russia
By Oliver Bullough (Basic, $27.99, May 2013)
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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2013

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Russia’s People of Empire
Life Stories from Eurasia, ?1500 to the Present
Stephen M. Norris and Willard Sunderland, eds. (Indiana University Press, $35)

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Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov
Robert Chandler, editor (Penguin, $18)
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When the United States Invaded Russia
Woodrow Wilson’s Siberian Disaster
Carl J. Richard (Rowman & Littlefield, $34)

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Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2012

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Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy
by Douglas Smith, FSG ($30)
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Nevsky: A Hero of the People
by Ben McCool & Mario Guevara
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Russian Film Posters 1900-1930
Vivays Publishing ($35)
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St. Petersburg Noir
Julia Goumen & Natalia Smirnova, eds., Akashic ($15.95)
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Wooden Churches
Richard Davies & Matilda Moreton, White Sea ($60)
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Russian Life: July/Aug 2012

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Out of My Hands
By Natasha Borzilova (Hadley Music Group)
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Roadside Picnic
By Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Translated by Olena Bormashenko (Chicago Review Press $15.95)

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Sniper
By Nicolai Lilin (W.W. Norton, $24.95)
Translated by Jamie Richards

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Visit Sunny Chernobyl
(And other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places), by Andrew Blackwell (Rodale, $25.99)
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Russian Life: May/June 2012

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50 Writers: An Anthology of 20th Century Russian Short Stories
Translated by Valentina Brougher and Frank Miller, with Mark Lipovetsky
(Academic Studies Press, $29)

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Just Send Me Word
Orlando Figes
(Henry Holt, $27)

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Stolen Air
The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam
Translated by Christian Wiman
(Ecco, $15.99)

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The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev
Daniel Triesman
(Simon & Schuster, $18)

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The Scar
Sergey and Marina Dyachenko
Translated by Elinor Huntington
(TOR, $24.99)

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The Time of Women
Elena Chizhova
Translated by Simon Patterson with Nina Chordas
(Glagoslav, $22.50)

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The Twelve Chairs
by Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov
Translated by Anne O. Fisher

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Vladimir Putin and Russian Stagecraft
Allan C. Lynch
(Potomac Books, $24.95)

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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2012

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Notes on the Cuff & Other Stories
By Mikhail Bulgakov (Ardis, $17.95) Translated by Alison Rice
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Russia: A 100-year Chronicle of the Wild East
By Martin Sixsmith (Overlook, $37.95)
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The Fallen Queen
By Jane Kindred (Entangled Publishing, $15.99)
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The Last Romanov
By Dora Levy Mossanen (Sourcebooks, $14.99)
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The Russian Origins of the First World War
By Sean McMeekin (Belknap Harvard, $29.95)
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The Winter Palace
By Eva Stachniak (Bantam, $26)
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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2012

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Gulag Boss: A Soviet Memoir
Fyodor Vasilevich Mochulsky, translated and edited by Deborah Kaple (Oxford University Press, $29.95)
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Memories of Chekhov
Peter Sekirin, ed. and trans. (McFarland Books, $45)
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Pushkin Threefold
Alexander Pushkin, translated by Walter Arndt (Ardis, $29.95)
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The Darkening Field
William Ryan (Minotaur, $24.99)
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Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage
Albert Glinsky (University of Illinois Press, $24.95)
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Thirst
Translated by Marian Schwartz (Amazon Crossing, $14.95)
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Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2011

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Bloodlands
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Leningrad
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Moscow Philosophy and Falling Sky
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Separate Kingdoms
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The Damned and the Dead
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Russian Life: July/Aug 2011

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How I Ended This Summer
Directed by Alexei Popogrebsky
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Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design
Michael Idov, ed.
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Moscow Believes in Tears
by Louis Menashe
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Romanov Riches
by Solomon Volkhov
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Russian Magic
by Cherry Gilchrist
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The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine
by Alina Bronsky
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The Suitcase
by Sergei Dovlatov
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Russian Life: May/June 2011

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Deathless
By Catherynne M. Valente
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Memoir of a Gulag Actress
By Tamara Petkevich, Yasha Klots and Ross Ufberg, translators
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Snowdrops
by A.N. Miller
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The Russian Word's Worth
By Michele A. Berdy
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The Three Fat Men
By Yuri Olesha, Hugh Aplin, translator
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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2011

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Dacha Idylls
by Melissa L. Caldwell (University of California Press)
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Growing Up in a Criminal World: Siberian Education
by Nicolai Lilin
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Molotov's Magic Lantern
by Rachel Polonsky
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My Perestroika
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Russian Literature
by Andrew Baruch Wachtel and Ilya Vinitsky (Polity)
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The Road
by Vasily Grossman
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The True Memoirs of Little K
by Adrienne Sharp (FSG)
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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2011

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Balancing Act
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Childhood, by Maksim Gorky
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Russian Lessons
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Stalina
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Travels in Siberia
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Russian Life: Nov/Dec 2010

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Android Karenina
by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters (Quirk)
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Lost and Found in Russia
by Susan Richards (Other Press)
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Russia Against Napoleon
by Dominic Lieven (Viking)
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Russian Music for Cello and Piano
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Stalin's Romeo
by Emil Draitser (Northwestern University Press)
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The New Nobility
by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan (Public Affairs)
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Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2010

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Guardians
By Andy Freeberg
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Miss Gulag
Directed by Maria Yatskova
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The Concert
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The Holy Thief
by William Ryan
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The Littlest Enemies
by Deborah Hoffman
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When They Come for Us We'll Be Gone
by Gal Beckerman
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Russian Life: July/Aug 2010

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A Dream in Polar Fog
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Brief Lives: Tolstoy
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Moscow Noir
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The Possessed
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The Russia Reader
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Russian Life: May/June 2010

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A Mountain of Crumbs
by Elena Gorokhova
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Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Russia Experts
by David. C. Engerman
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Peter the Great
by Derek Wilson
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Russian San Francisco
by Lydia Zaverukha and Nina Bogdan
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The Raven’s Gift, by Jon Turk
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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2010

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2017, by Olga Slavnikova
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Conspirator: Lenin in Exile, by Helen Rappaport
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The Line, by Olga Grushin
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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2010

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Sibling insights into Chekhov
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Russian Life: Nov/Dec 2009

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Brief Lives: Alexander Pushkin
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In the First Circle
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Privet Amerika
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Terrible Tsarinas
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There is No Freedom Without Bread!
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Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2009

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Spymaster
It could be said that Oleg Kalugin’s tale picks up where Andrew Meier’s [The Lost Spy] leaves off, at least chronologically...
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The Lost Spy
In 1947, Stalin had an American in his employ, Isaiah “Cy” Oggins, murdered by lethal injection...
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Russian Life: July/Aug 2009

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Ballerina
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Kamchatka, by Igor Shpilenok and Patrico Robles Gil
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Londongrad
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Red Sky, Black Death
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The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight
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Wave of Terror
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Russian Life: May/June 2009

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Alexandra
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Behind Closed Doors
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Katyn
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The Singing Revolution
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Tulpan
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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2009

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Child 44
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The King of Vodka
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The Last Days of the Romanovs
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The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan
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Verses and Versions
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Volk's Shadow
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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2009

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Master of the House
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Murderers in Mausoleums
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Stalin's Children
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The Bloody White Baron
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Russian Life: Nov/Dec 2008

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A Great Time
A wonderful bilingual book of stories for the holidays.
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I Was A Potato Oligarch
John Mole's romp through Russian capitalism.
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Kot v Shlyape
The Cat in the Hat goes po-russky!
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Moscow & St. Petersburg: 1900-1920
A wonderfully illustrated book on the Silver Age.
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Russians in Hollywoood, Hollywood's Russians
by Harlow Robinson
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Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2008

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Lenin's Private War
by Leslie Chamberlin
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Past Imperfect: 318 Episodes from the Life of a Russian Artist
A hilarious look at the life of an artist in Soviet Russia.
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The Secret History of Moscow
by Ekaterina Sedia
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The Veil of Gold
by Kim Wilkins
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Russian Life: July/Aug 2008

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History of Music in Russia from Antiquity to 1800
Volume 2
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History of Music in Russia from Antiquity to 1800
Volume 1
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Investigating the Russian Mafia
by Joseph D. Serio
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The Angel of Grozny
by Asne Seierstad
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The Pearl
by Douglas Smith
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Young Pushkin
by Yuri Tynyanov, translated by Anna Kurkina Rush and Christopher Rush
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Russian Life: May/June 2008

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Advanced Russian Through History
by Benjamin Rifkin, Olga Kagan and Anna Yatsenko
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Angel of Vengeance
by Ana Siljak
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Russian in Use
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The Magical Chorus
by Solomon Volkov
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The New Cold War
by Edward Lucas
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The Silencing
by Alix Lambert
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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2008

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Anna Akhmatova: Poet and Prophet
by Roberta Reeder
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Balakirev and Russian Folksong
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Children's World: Growing up in Russia, 1890-1991
by Catriona Kelly
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Pravda
by Edward Docx
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The Bolsheviks in Power
by Alexander Rabinowitch
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The Storks Nest
Laura William's captivating memoir of life in a Russian village.
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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2008

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Getting Russia Right
by Dmitry Trenin
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One Soldier's War in Chechnya
by Arkady Babchenko
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Rostropovich: The Musical Life of the Great Cellist
by Elizabeth Wilson
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The Captain's Daughter
by Alexander Pushkin (translated by Robert Chandler)
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Russian Life: Nov/Dec 2007

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About Chekhov
by Ivan Bunin
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Literary St. Petersburg
by Elaine Blair
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Sacred Sea
by Peter Thompson
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The Mark of Cain
by filmmaker Alix Lambert
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The Soviet Image
by Peter Radetsky
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The Whisperers
by Orlando Figes
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Russian Life: Sept/Oct 2007

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Brothers on the Bashkaus
by Eugene Buchanan
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Ivan the Fool
by Andrei Sinyavsky
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King of Odessa
by Robert A. Rosenstone
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Song Without Words
by Leah Bendavid-Val, ed.
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The Unknown Gulag
by Lynne Viola
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Russian Life: July/August 2007

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Cannibal Island
by Nicolas Werth
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Motherland
by Leslie Chamberlain
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Russian Archiitecture and the West
by Dmitri Schwidkovsky
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Solovki Garden
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Russian Life: May/June 2007

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Historical Dictionary of Cold War Counterintelligence
by Nigel West
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Ilf & Petrov's American Road Trip
by Ilya Ilf & Evgeny Petrov, Edited by Erika Woolf
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Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Golden Ring
by Masha Nordbye
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Red Mutiny
by Neal Bascomb
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St. Petersburg
National Geographic Traveler
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The Slynx
by Tatyana Tolstaya
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Touring Kyiv
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Touring Odessa
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Touring the Crimea
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Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2007

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Animated Soviet Propaganda
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Brother
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Make Mine Vodka
by Susan Waggoner & Robert Markel
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Night of Denial
by Ivan Bunin
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Quiet Flows the Don
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Stalin's Guerillas
by Kenneth Slepyan
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Stalin's Wars
by Geoffrey Roberts
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Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2007

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Dances in Deep Shadows
by Michael Occleshaw
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Defiance
by Alex Konanykhin
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Glas: War and Peace
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Jewels of the Tsars
by Prince Michael of Greece
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Russian War Films
by Denise Youngblood
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