Published September 01, 2010

301 Things Everyone Should Know About Russia

301 Things Everyone Should Know About Russia


How do you begin to get a handle on the world's largest country? A font of world culture... Driver of world history... Home to Baba Yaga and Baikal... to the inventors of vodka, television and the theremin... This colorful, illustrated guide will get you started... 

  • Geography & Resources - Russia's unequaled commitment to preserving wild lands; its 12 cities with over a million inhabitants; the amazing Lake Baikal; Russia's incomparable share of the world's precious resources; the importance of geography (by Paul E. Richardson) ...
  • Science & Religion - Russian firsts in space; 13 important Russian inventions; nuclear stockpiles; the scope and impact of religion in Russia today - few know that Christianity actually is the third religion to be recognized in Russia...
  • Performing Arts - the impact of Russian theater on world culture (by John Freedman); the 20 "must see" Russian films; the 10 top selling works of Russian classical music...
  • Science, Pop Culture & Legend - Russian Olympians you should know; popular vs. high culture (by Maria Antonova); the 10 most important Russian legends and fairytales (by Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby)
  • Food & Language - on Russian hospitality (by Darra Goldstein); conceptions and misconceptions about borshch, tea, dumpligs and vodka; the difficulty of learning Russian; the singular Russian monosyllabic adjective; Russian words that have snuck into English; the longest Russian word....
  • Politics & History - how History binds Russia together (by Tamara Eidelman); little known facts about the tsars; invasions and occupations repulsed; turning points in Russian history...
  • Literature & Art - 10 "must read" Russian novels; 10 "essential" short stories; the significance of Russian culture and literature, from birch-bark tablets to Nabokov (by Stanislav Shvabrin); about icons and painting, the avant garde and the fleeting fame of Russian writers...
  • Taboos & Superstitions - 12 do's and don'ts that will help you keep from looking like a foreigner while in Russia (by Laura Williams)...
  • Wonderful illustrations throughout by Katya Korobkina
  1. St. Cyril did not create the Cyrillic Alphabet
  2. Every Russian Tsar named Peter died a hard and painful death
  3. The first Russian Olympic gold medalist was in skating; the first Soviet gold medalist was in discus
  4. A Russian invented the helicopter
  5. The Russian language is spoken by 278 million Earthlings (fifth most of all languages)
  6. A fox is the most famous trickster in Russian folk tales
  7. 22% of the world's forests are in Russia
  8. Never step over small children, you might stunt their growth
  9. Tchaikovsky (yes, Pyotr Ilyich, of 1812 Overture fame), was actually trained as a lawyer
  10. Russia has more Muslims than any "European" country


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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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