Russia

Nick Hordern reviews 'Return to Moscow' by Tony Kevin

Nicholas Hordern
28 February 2017

The idea that the world faces a second Cold War started out as hyperbole, but by 2016 it was sounding increasingly plausible. For more than a decade, Moscow, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, had been waging a diplomatic, political, and military campaign to restore Russian power – in the Caucasus, in Ukraine, and in Syria. In the West this has usually been p ... More

Lee Christofis reviews 'Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian ballet from the rule of the tsars to today' by Simon Morrison

Lee Christofis
20 December 2016

In November 2016, former principal dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko entered the Bolshoi Ballet studios in Moscow to begin retraining for the stage. He had recently been ...

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Mark Edele reviews 'The Romanovs: 1613-1918' by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Mark Edele
22 August 2016

The history of (not so) great men and women, their lovers, wars, and marriages is back. After social historians from the 1970s reduced kings and queens to 'clowns in ...

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Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews 'Stalin's Daughter: The extraordinary and tumultuous life of Svetlana Alliluyeva' by Rosemary Sullivan

Sheila Fitzpatrick
23 May 2016

Nobody would have expected an ordinary life for Stalin's only daughter, but Svetlana's life was extraordinary beyond any expectations. Her mother killed herself in 1932 ...

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Mark Edele reviews 'On Stalin's Team' by Sheila Fitzpatrick

Mark Edele
24 March 2016

I first encountered Sheila Fitzpatrick's work in the mid-1990s. The 1986–87 controversy in The Russian Review about how to write a social history of Stalinism was taught as a milestone in the historiography of my field. Instinctively, I took sides against my professors and with Fitzpatrick's call to remove the state from the centre of analysis, a methodol ... More

David Wells reviews 'The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry' edited by Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk, and Irina Mashinski

David Wells
29 October 2015

Translation is all about choice: which authors will be attractive to the target audience? Which texts by those authors will be of interest? Which aspects of those texts should be emphasised? How can ambiguities in the original be preserved or resolved? What relative weight should be given to formal and semantic elements? Historically, the translation of Russian lite ... More

Nick Hordern reviews 'Frontline Ukraine' by Richard Sakwa

Nicholas Hordern
28 October 2015

It is all Vladimir Putin's fault. Two years after the crisis in Ukraine erupted, the prevailing view in Europe, the United States, and Australia remains that responsibility for the conflict there – including the shooting down of flight MH17 – lies with Russia's president. This, the argument goes, is all part of Putin's plan to restore Russia's dominance of its r ... More

Mark Edele reviews 'Stalin, Volume I' by Stephen Kotkin and 'Stalin' by Oleg V. Khlevniuk

Mark Edele
26 October 2015

How dissimilar two books on the same topic can be: one expansive and apparently unconstrained by word limits, the other constrained and economical; one following a simple chronological narrative, the other an admirable adaptation of literary techniques of multi-layered story telling. Both are political books, but the politics are as different as the personalities of ... More

Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews 'Reconstructing Lenin' by Tamás Krausz

Sheila Fitzpatrick
27 May 2015

Who cares any more about Lenin? Time was, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870–1924) was revered, at least in some quarters, as the founding father of the Soviet Union, head of the first revolutionary state, pioneer in building socialism to end capitalist exploitation and create a better world. In the Soviet Union, Stalin overshadowed him for a few decades, while claiming ... More

Nick Hordern reviews 'Moscow, the Fourth Rome' by Katerina Clark

Nicholas Hordern
07 March 2013

In Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, the hero Robert Jordan, an American fighting on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, receives some advice from More

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