Natasha's Dance

A Cultural History of Russia

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1466862890

Category: History

Page: 544

View: 4255

History on a grand scale--an enchanting masterpiece that explores the making of one of the world's most vibrant civilizations A People's Tragedy, wrote Eric Hobsbawm, did "more to help us understand the Russian Revolution than any other book I know." Now, in Natasha's Dance, internationally renowned historian Orlando Figes does the same for Russian culture, summoning the myriad elements that formed a nation and held it together. Beginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St. Petersburg--a "window on the West"--and culminating with the challenges posed to Russian identity by the Soviet regime, Figes examines how writers, artists, and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself--its character, spiritual essence, and destiny. He skillfully interweaves the great works--by Dostoevsky, Stravinsky, and Chagall--with folk embroidery, peasant songs, religious icons, and all the customs of daily life, from food and drink to bathing habits to beliefs about the spirit world. Figes's characters range high and low: the revered Tolstoy, who left his deathbed to search for the Kingdom of God, as well as the serf girl Praskovya, who became Russian opera's first superstar and shocked society by becoming her owner's wife. Like the European-schooled countess Natasha performing an impromptu folk dance in Tolstoy's War and Peace, the spirit of "Russianness" is revealed by Figes as rich and uplifting, complex and contradictory--a powerful force that unified a vast country and proved more lasting than any Russian ruler or state.

A Concise History of Russia

Author: Paul Bushkovitch

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139504444

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 7973

Accessible to students, tourists and general readers alike, this book provides a broad overview of Russian history since the ninth century. Paul Bushkovitch emphasizes the enormous changes in the understanding of Russian history resulting from the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, new material has come to light on the history of the Soviet era, providing new conceptions of Russia's pre-revolutionary past. The book traces not only the political history of Russia, but also developments in its literature, art and science. Bushkovitch describes well-known cultural figures, such as Chekhov, Tolstoy and Mendeleev, in their institutional and historical contexts. Though the 1917 revolution, the resulting Soviet system and the Cold War were a crucial part of Russian and world history, Bushkovitch presents earlier developments as more than just a prelude to Bolshevik power.

Just Send Me Word

A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0805095225

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 333

View: 8676

A triumphant love story and inside portrait of the notorious Arctic Gulag, based on recently discovered letters smuggled between 29-year-old prisoner Lev Mishchenko and his sweetheart, Sveta, traces their story while drawing on KGB archives and recent interviews to reconstruct their world. By the award-winning author of The Crimean War.

The Magical Chorus

A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn

Author: Solomon Volkov

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1400077869

Category: History

Page: 333

View: 7893

A cultural history of Russia that ranges from the reign of Tsar Nicholas II to perestroika examines the complex interconnection between Russian rulers and artists as exemplified by the stories behind the great masterpieces of luminaries in the fields of art, music, literature, theater, cinema and dance. Reprint.

The Whisperers

Private Life in Stalin's Russia

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780312428037

Category: History

Page: 739

View: 2871

Provides a portrait of everyday Russian life during the repression of the Stalin years, analyzing the regime's effect on people's personal lives as they struggled to survive in the midst of the fear, mistrust, and betrayal.

Russian History: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Geoffrey Hosking

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199580987

Category: History

Page: 154

View: 6039

A leading international authority discusses all aspects of Russian history, from the struggle by the state to control society to the transformation of the nation into a multi-ethnic empire, Russia's relations with the West and the post-Soviet era. Original.

Russian dance

a true story of intrigue and passion in Stalinist Moscow

Author: Andrée Aelion Brooks

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 287

View: 3451

The true story of Helene Rubinoff, a Russian refugee in Jazz Age New York who forsook her comfortable life with her impresario husband and his celebrity salons, and her beloved daughter, to follow her lover back to an uncertain fate in 1930s Russia.

Molotov's Magic Lantern

Travels in Russian History

Author: Rachel Polonsky

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429974905

Category: Travel

Page: 416

View: 8939

When the British journalist Rachel Polonsky moves to Moscow, she discovers an apartment on Romanov Street that was once home to the Soviet elite. One of the most infamous neighbors was the ruthless apparatchik Vyacheslav Molotov, a henchman for Stalin who was a participant in the collectivizations and the Great Purge—and also an ardent bibliophile. In what was formerly Molotov's apartment, Polonsky uncovers an extensive library and an old magic lantern—two things that lead her on an extraordinary journey throughout Russia and ultimately renew her vision of the country and its people. In Molotov's Magic Lantern, Polonsky visits the haunted cities and vivid landscapes of the books from Molotov's library: works by Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Akhmatova, and others, some of whom were sent to the Gulag by the very man who collected their books. With exceptional insight and beautiful prose, Polonsky writes about the longings and aspirations of these Russian writers and others in the course of her travels from the Arctic to Siberia and from the forests around Moscow to the vast steppes. A singular homage to Russian history and culture, Molotov's Magic Lantern evokes the spirit of the great artists and the haunted past of a country ravaged by war, famine, and totalitarianism.

A People's Tragedy

The Russian Revolution 1891-1924

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1847924514

Category: Russia

Page: 976

View: 6138

Unrivalled in scope and brimming with human drama, A People's Tragedy is the most vivid, moving and comprehensive history of the Russian Revolution available today. 'A modern masterpiece' Andrew Marr 'The most moving account of the Russian Revolution since Doctor Zhivago' Independent Opening with a panorama of Russian society, from the cloistered world of the Tsar to the brutal life of the peasants, A People's Tragedy follows workers, soldiers, intellectuals and villagers as their world is consumed by revolution and then degenerates into violence and dictatorship. Drawing on vast original research, Figes conveys above all the shocking experience of the revolution for those who lived it, while providing the clearest and most cogent account of how and why it unfolded. Illustrated with over 100 photographs and now including a new introduction that reflects on the revolution's centennial legacy, A People's Tragedy is a masterful and definitive record of one of the most important events in modern history.

Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991

A History

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 0805095985

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 7389

From the author of A People's Tragedy, an original reading of the Russian Revolution, examining it not as a single event but as a hundred-year cycle of violence in pursuit of utopian dreams In this elegant and incisive account, Orlando Figes offers an illuminating new perspective on the Russian Revolution. While other historians have focused their examinations on the cataclysmic years immediately before and after 1917, Figes shows how the revolution, while it changed in form and character, nevertheless retained the same idealistic goals throughout, from its origins in the famine crisis of 1891 until its end with the collapse of the communist Soviet regime in 1991. Figes traces three generational phases: Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who set the pattern of destruction and renewal until their demise in the terror of the 1930s; the Stalinist generation, promoted from the lower classes, who created the lasting structures of the Soviet regime and consolidated its legitimacy through victory in war; and the generation of 1956, shaped by the revelations of Stalin's crimes and committed to "making the Revolution work" to remedy economic decline and mass disaffection. Until the very end of the Soviet system, its leaders believed they were carrying out the revolution Lenin had begun. With the authority and distinctive style that have marked his magisterial histories, Figes delivers an accessible and paradigm-shifting reconsideration of one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Peasant Russia, Civil War

The Volga Countryside in Revolution, 1917-1921

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

ISBN: 9781842124215

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 1306

Why and how did the October 1917 revolution occur in Russia? Often overlooked as a crucial factor in the Bolsheviks' victory was the role of the peasantry. Here is an enthralling portrait of this poor but sizable population on the eve of the uprising; of the breakdown of state power in the countryside; and, most important, of the relationship between the serfs and the Bolsheviks during the civil war. An enlightening approach, illustrated with disturbing contemporary images.

A history of twentieth-century Russia

Author: Robert Service

Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 653

View: 7646

A narrative drawing upon primary sources focuses upon the political and economic history of Russia from 1900 through 1997

Icon and Axe

An Interpretative History of Russian Culture

Author: James Billington

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307765288

Category: History

Page: 880

View: 5261

"A rich and readable introduction to the whole sweep of Russian cultural and intellectual history from Kievan times to the post-Khruschev era." - Library Journal. Illustrations, references, index. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Crimean War

A History

Author: Orlando Figes

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 9781429997249

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 1689

Please note that the maps available in the print edition do not appear in the ebook. From "the great storyteller of modern Russian historians," (Financial Times) the definitive account of the forgotten war that shaped the modern age The Charge of the Light Brigade, Florence Nightingale—these are the enduring icons of the Crimean War. Less well-known is that this savage war (1853-1856) killed almost a million soldiers and countless civilians; that it enmeshed four great empires—the British, French, Turkish, and Russian—in a battle over religion as well as territory; that it fixed the fault lines between Russia and the West; that it set in motion the conflicts that would dominate the century to come. In this masterly history, Orlando Figes reconstructs the first full conflagration of modernity, a global industrialized struggle fought with unusual ferocity and incompetence. Drawing on untapped Russian and Ottoman as well as European sources, Figes vividly depicts the world at war, from the palaces of St. Petersburg to the holy sites of Jerusalem; from the young Tolstoy reporting in Sevastopol to Tsar Nicolas, haunted by dreams of religious salvation; from the ordinary soldiers and nurses on the battlefields to the women and children in towns under siege.. Original, magisterial, alive with voices of the time, The Crimean War is a historical tour de force whose depiction of ethnic cleansing and the West's relations with the Muslim world resonates with contemporary overtones. At once a rigorous, original study and a sweeping, panoramic narrative, The Crimean War is the definitive account of the war that mapped the terrain for today's world..

Kabul in Winter

Life Without Peace in Afghanistan

Author: Ann Jones

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1466827653

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 6371

A sharp and arresting people's-eye view of real life in Afghanistan after the Taliban Soon after the bombing of Kabul ceased, award-winning journalist and women's rights activist Ann Jones set out for the shattered city, determined to bring help where her country had brought destruction. Here is her trenchant report from inside a city struggling to rise from the ruins. Working among the multitude of impoverished war widows, retraining Kabul's long-silenced English teachers, and investigating the city's prison for women, Jones enters a large community of female outcasts: runaway child brides, pariah prostitutes, cast-off wives, victims of rape. In the streets and markets, she hears the Afghan view of the supposed benefits brought by the fall of the Taliban, and learns that regarding women as less than human is the norm, not the aberration of one conspicuously repressive regime. Jones confronts the ways in which Afghan education, culture, and politics have repeatedly been hijacked—by Communists, Islamic fundamentalists, and the Western free marketeers—always with disastrous results. And she reveals, through small events, the big disjunctions: between U.S promises and performance, between the new "democracy" and the still-entrenched warlords, between what's boasted of and what is. At once angry, profound, and starkly beautiful, Kabul in Winter brings alive the people and day-to-day life of a place whose future depends so much upon our own.

The Kindness of Enemies

A Novel

Author: Leila Aboulela

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 0802190170

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 2439

“A versatile prose stylist... [Aboulela’s] lyrical style and incisive portrayal of Muslims living in the West received praise from the Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee... [she is] a voice for multiculturalism.”—New York Times It’s 2010 and Natasha, a half Russian, half Sudanese professor of Islamic studies, is researching the life of Imam Shamil, the 19th century Muslim leader who led the anti-Russian resistance in the Caucasian War. When shy, single Natasha discovers that her star student, Oz, is not only descended from the warrior but also possesses Shamil’s priceless sword, the Imam’s story comes vividly to life. As Natasha’s relationship with Oz and his alluring actress mother intensifies, Natasha is forced to confront issues she had long tried to avoid—that of her Muslim heritage. When Oz is suddenly arrested at his home one morning, Natasha realizes that everything she values stands in jeopardy. Told with Aboulela’s inimitable elegance and narrated from the point of view of both Natasha and the historical characters she is researching, The Kindness of Enemies is both an engrossing story of a provocative period in history and an important examination of what it is to be a Muslim in a post 9/11 world.

Give War and Peace a Chance

Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times

Author: Andrew D. Kaufman

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451644728

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 288

View: 6392

“This lively appreciation of one of the most intimidating and massive novels ever written should persuade many hesitant readers to try scaling the heights of War and Peace sooner rather than later” (Publishers Weekly). Considered by many critics the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is also one of the most feared. And at 1,500 pages, it’s no wonder why. Still, in July 2009 Newsweek put War and Peace at the top of its list of 100 great novels and a 2007 edition of the AARP Bulletin included the novel in their list of the top four books everybody should read by the age of fifty. A New York Times survey from 2009 identified War and Peace as the world classic you’re most likely to find people reading on their subway commute to work. What might all those Newsweek devotees, senior citizens, and harried commuters see in a book about the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s? War and Peace is many things. It is a love story, a family saga, a war novel. But at its core it’s a novel about human beings attempting to create a meaningful life for themselves in a country torn apart by war, social change, political intrigue, and spiritual confusion. It is a mirror of our times. Give War and Peace a Chance takes readers on a journey through War and Peace that reframes their very understanding of what it means to live through troubled times and survive them. Touching on a broad range of topics, from courage to romance, parenting to death, Kaufman demonstrates how Tolstoy’s wisdom can help us live fuller, more meaningful lives. The ideal companion to War and Peace, this book “makes Tolstoy’s characters lively and palpable…and may well persuade readers to finally dive into one of the world’s most acclaimed—and daunting—novels” (Kirkus Reviews).

The Master and Margarita

Author: Mikhail Bulgakov

Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc

ISBN: 1365880052

Category: Fiction

Page: N.A

View: 4386

The Master and Margarita (Russian: Ма́стер и Маргари́та) is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, written between 1928 and 1940, but unpublished in book form until 1967. The story concerns a visit by the devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consider it to be one of the best novels of the 20th century, as well as the foremost of Soviet satires.

A History of Modern Russia from Nicholas II to Vladimir Putin

Author: Robert Service

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674018013

Category: History

Page: 658

View: 9159

Russia had an extraordinary twentieth century, undergoing upheaval and transformation. Updating his acclaimed History of Twentieth-Century Russia through 2002, Robert Service provides a panoramic perspective on a country whose Soviet past encompassed revolution, civil war, mass terror, and two world wars. He shows how seven decades of communist rule, which penetrated every aspect of Soviet life, continue to influence Russia today. This new edition also discusses continuing economic and social difficulties at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the military campaign in Chechnya, and Russia's reduced role on the world stage.

Ice Road

Author: Gillian Slovo

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393327205

Category: Fiction

Page: 545

View: 5488

The members of a single family--Boris Aleksandrovich, a well-meaning bureaucrat; his daughter Natasha; and Irina--are all tested by the horrors and hardships of war during the siege of Leningrad during World War II, in a profound story of love, courage, survival, despair, and the triumph of the human spirit. Reader's Guide available. Original. 15,000 first printing.