Book picks similar to
Gulag Voices: An Anthology by Anne Applebaum
Joseph Stalin: A Life From Beginning to End
Hourly History - 2017
There can be no doubt that Stalin is one of the most notorious and controversial figures in history. He presents a puzzling paradox for both psychologists and sociologists; he was simultaneously revered, feared, loved, and hated during his lifetime. So much has been written about the life of Joseph Stalin and yet upon closer inspection, he still seems to present us with quite an enigma. His cruelty towards his political opponents and dissidents is well known, but so are his efforts to go out of his way in lifting up the most downtrodden and desperate members of Soviet society, giving them the chance that Tsarist Russia would not. Inside you will read about... ✓ A Change of Weather ✓ The Real Revolution Begins ✓ From Exile to Supreme Leader ✓ A Brave New Word ✓ Stalin’s Gambit ✓ Stalin Makes a Comeback ✓ Defending the Capitol ✓ Going West Stalin is known as a brutish dictator who struck a bargain with Hitler as if he was an old friend, yet it was this same Stalin who would almost singlehandedly save Europe from Nazi occupation. Who was Stalin? What did he really want? In this book we explore the complexities and nuances of the living, breathing conundrum who called himself Joseph Stalin.
Mikhail Gorbachev - 1993
From the persecution of his family under Stalin to his first political steps to his extraordinary rise within the Communist Party, Gorbachev recounts the events that led to his own disillusionment, without which the eventual implosion of communism would not have taken place. of photos.
The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian Culture
James H. Billington - 1966
"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.Complete with Illustrations, references and 32 pages of index, this is an exhaustive history of Russia and its peoples.
Catherine the Great: Life and Legend
John T. Alexander - 1988
By thirty-three, she had overthrown her husband in a bloodless coup and established herself as Empress of the multinational Russian Empire, the largest territorial political unit in modern history. Portrayed both as a political genius who restored to Russia the glory it had known in the days of Peter the Great and as a despotic foreign adventuress who usurped the Russian throne, murdered her rivals, and tyrannized her subjects, she was, by all accounts, an extraordinary woman. Catherine the Great, the first popular biography of the empress based on contemporary scholarship, provides a vivid portrait of Catherine as a mother, a lover, and, above all, an extremely savvy ruler. Concentrating on her long reign (1762-96), John Alexander examines all aspects of Catherine's life and career: the brilliant political strategies by which she won the acceptance of a nationalistic elite; her expansive foreign policy; the domestic reforms with which she revamped the Russian military, political structure, and economy; and, of course, her infamous love life. Beginning with an account of the dramatic palace revolt by which Catherine unseated her husband and a background chapter describing the circumstances of her early childhood and marriage, Alexander then proceeds chronologically through the thirty-four years of her reign. Presenting Catherine in more human terms than previous biographers have, Alexander includes numerous quotations from her reminiscences and notes. We learn, for instance, not only the names and number of her lovers, but her understanding of what many considered a shocking licentiousness. "The trouble is," she wrote, "that my heart would not willingly remain one hour without love." The result of twenty years' research by one of America's leading narrative historians of modern Russia, this truly impressive work offers a much-needed, balanced reappraisal of one of history's most scandal-ridden figures.
Harold Shukman - 1997
Yet his purposes were ostensibly beneficent. An uneducated peasant, he left Siberia to become a wandering 'holy man' and soon acquired a reputation as a healer. The empress was desperate to find a cure for haemophilia from which her son Alexei suffered, and in 1905 Rasputin was presented at court. His positive effect on the heir's health made him indispensible. But his religious teachings were unorthodox, and his charismatic presence aroused in many ladies of the St Petersburg aristocracy an exalted response, which he exploited sexually. Shady financial dealings added to the atmosphere of debauchery and scandal, and he was also seen as a political threat. He was assassinated bin 1916.
Tolstoy: A Biography
A.N. Wilson - 1988
Wilson narrates the complex drama of the writer's life: his childhood of aristocratic privilege but emotional deprivation, his discovery of his literary genius after aimless years of gambling and womanizing, and his increasingly disastrous marriage. Wilson sweeps away the long-held belief that Tolstoy's works were the exact mirror of his life, and instead traces the roots of Tolstoy's art to his relationship with God, with women, and with Russia. He also breaks new ground in recreating the world that shaped the great novelist's life and art--the turmoil of ideas and politics in nineteenth-century Russia and the incredible literary renaissance that made Tolstoy's work possible. 24 pages of illustrations.
An Old Woman's Reflections: The Life of a Blasket Island Storyteller
Peig Sayers - 1936
She was a natural orator, and students and scholars of the Irish language came from far and wide to visit her. In this book, as an old lady, she muses and reflects on the days of her youth, recounting tales which evoke characters and an era now dead, and capture the superstitions and hard life of her beloved island.
James P. Duffy - 2015
The story of these men and women - as diverse as the lands they governed - is, in many ways, the story of Russia itself. From the birth of the Kievan state in the second half of the ninth century to the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family in 1918, historians James P. Duffy and Vincent L. Ricci trace the long and twisted line of imperial rule in Russia, offering many insights into the uses and abuses of absolute power, as well as a glimpse at world history through the eyes of those who made it. The Czars is a vital page in the literature of Russian history.
The Day Will Pass Away: The Diary of a Gulag Prison Guard: 1935-1936
Ivan Chistyakov - 1936
Killed at the front in Tula Province in 1941." This is all that remains of Ivan Chistyakov, a senior guard at the Baikal Amur Corrective Labour Camp.Who was this lost man? How did he end up in the gulag? Though a guard, he is a type of prisoner, too. We learn that he is a cultured and urbane ex-city dweller with a secret nostalgia for pre-Revolutionary Russia. In this diary, Chistyakov does not just record his life in the camp, he narrates it. He is a sharp-eyed witness and a sympathetic, humane, and broken man.From stumblingly poetic musings on the bitter landscape of the taiga to matter-of-fact grumbles about the inefficiency of his stove, from accounts of the brutal conditions of the camp to reflections on the cruelty of loneliness, this diary is an astonishing record—a visceral and immediate description of a place and time whose repercussions still affect the shape of modern Russia, and modern Europe.
Angel of Vengeance: The "Girl Assassin," the Governor of St. Petersburg, and Russia's Revolutionary World
Ana Siljak - 2008
Petersburg, pulled a revolver from underneath her shawl, and shot General Fedor Trepov point blank. “Revenge!,” she cried, for the governor's brutal treatment of a political prisoner. Her trial for murder later that year became Russia's "trial of the century," closely followed by people all across Europe and America. On the day of the trial, huge crowds packed the courtroom. The cream of Russian society, attired in the finery of the day, arrived to witness the theatrical testimony and deliberations in the case of the young angel of vengeance. After the trial, Vera became a celebrated martyr for all social classes in Russia and became the public face of a burgeoning revolutionary fervor. Dostoyevsky (who attended the trial), Turgenev, Engels, and even Oscar Wilde all wrote about her extraordinary case. Her astonishing acquittal was celebrated across Europe, crowds filled the streets and the decision marked the changing face of Russia. After fleeing to Switzerland, Vera Zasulich became Russia's most famous "terroristka," inspiring a whole generation of Russian and European revolutionaries to embrace violence and martyrdom. Her influence led to a series of acts that collectively became part of “the age of assassinations.” In the now-forgotten story of Russia's most notorious terrorist, Ana Siljak captures Vera's extraordinary life story--from privileged child of nobility to revolutionary conspirator, from assassin to martyr to socialist icon and saint-- while colorfully evoking the drama of one of the world’s most closely watched trials and a Russia where political celebrities held sway.
Varlam Shalamov - 1966
Shalamov himself spent seventeen years there, and in these stories he vividly captures the lives of ordinary people caught up in terrible circumstances, whose hopes and plans extended to further than a few hours. This new enlarged edition combines two collections previously published in the United States as Kolyma Tales and Graphite.
Journey into the Whirlwind
Evgenia Ginzburg - 1967
Yet like millions of others who suffered during Stalin's reign of terror, she was arrested—on trumped-up charges of being a Trotskyist terrorist and counter-revolutionary—and sentenced to prison. With an amazing eye for detail, profound strength, and an indefatigable spirit, Ginzburg recounts the years, days, and minutes she endured in prisons and labor camps, including two years of solitary confinement. A classic account of survival, Journey into the Whirlwind is considered one of the most important documents of Stalin's regime ever written.
Moscow, December 25th, 1991
Conor O'Clery - 2011
Mikhail Gorbachev, a sophisticated and urbane reformer, sought to modernize and preserve the USSR; Boris Yeltsin, a coarse and a hard drinking bulldozer,” wished to destroy the union and create a capitalist Russia. The defeat of the August 1991 coup attempt, carried out by hardline communists, shook Gorbachev’s authority and was a triumph for Yeltsin. But it took four months of intrigue and double-dealing before the Soviet Union finally collapsed, and the day arrived when Yeltsin could hustle Gorbachev out of the Kremlin, and move in as ruler of Russia.Conor O’Clery has written a unique and truly suspenseful thriller of the day the Soviet Union died. The internal power plays, the shifting alliances, the betrayals, the mysterious three colonels carrying the briefcase with the nuclear codes, and the jockeying to exploit the future are worthy of John Le Carré or Alan Furst. The Cold War’s last act was a magnificent dark drama played out in the shadows of the Kremlin.
A Sentimental Journey: Memoirs, 1917-1922
Victor Shklovsky - 1923
Valuable as a historical document for its first-hand account of the events during the period of 1917-1922, A Sentimental Journey is also an important experimental literary work—a memoir in the form of a novel.At times lyrical, disturbing, ironic, and erudite, A Sentimental Journey is a singular book from one of the most recognizable and influential voices of twentieth-century Russian literature.
The Portable Nineteenth-Century Russian Reader
George Gibian - 1993
It includes such masterworks of world literature as Pushkin's poem "The Bronze Horseman"; Gogol's "The Overcoat"; Turgenev's novel First Love; Chekhov's Uncle Vanya; Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych; and "The Grand Inquisitor" episode from Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov; plus poetry, plays, short stories, novel excerpts, and essays by such writers as Griboyedov, Pavlova, Herzen, Goncharov, Saltykov-Shchedrin, and Maksim Gorky. Distinguished scholar George Gibian provides an introduction, chronology, biographical essays, and a bibliography.