June booklist

Some upcoming Russia book releases found on Amazon.

The Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution by Robert Service (Sep 5 2017)

A riveting account of the last eighteen months of Tsar Nicholas II’s life and reign from one of the finest Russian historians writing today.

In March 1917, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, abdicated and the dynasty that had ruled an empire for three hundred years was forced from power by revolution. Now, on the hundredth anniversary of that revolution, Robert Service, the eminent historian of Russia, examines Nicholas’s life and thought from the months before his momentous abdication to his death, with his family, in Ekaterinburg in July 1918.
The story has been told many times, but Service’s deep understanding of the period and his forensic examination of previously untapped sources, including the Tsar’s diaries and recorded conversations, as well as the testimonies of the official inquiry, shed remarkable new light on his troubled reign, also revealing the kind of Russia that Nicholas wanted to emerge from the Great War.
The Last of the Tsars is a masterful study of a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic and political ferment in Russia that followed the February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin’s Soviet socialist republic.

Russia’s Border Wars and Frozen Conflicts by James J. Coyle (Jul 23 2017)

This book examines the origins and execution of Russian military and political activities in Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, and Nagorno-Karabakh. Using a realist perspective, the author concludes that there are substantial similarities in the four case studies: Russian support for minority separatist movements, conflict, Russian intervention as peacekeepers, Russian control over the diplomatic process to prevent resolution of the conflict, and a perpetuation of Russian presence in the area. The author places the conflicts in the context of international law and nationalism theory.

Russia in the Wake of the Cold War: Perceptions and Prejudices by Dorothy Horsfield (May 30 2017)

Amid widespread and increasing alarm in Western strategic and foreign policy circles following Russia’s capture of Crimea, support for rebels in Ukraine, and military intervention in Syria, this study provides a timely and sophisticated analysis of the nature and intentions of post-Soviet government under President Vladimir Putin. Based on both Russian and non-Russian sources, this book examines the enduring Cold War legacies underpinning Western perceptions of contemporary Russia. It analyzes the ways in which the West has interpreted and reacted to Russia’s domestic authoritarianism and foreign policy behavior and argues for diplomatic engagement based on liberal pluralism.

Patriotic Education in Contemporary Russia: Sociological Studies in the Making of the Post-Soviet Citizen by Anna Sanina (Jul 25 2017)

This book outlines the complexities, contestation, and contradictions in the formal organization and contents of patriotic education in post-Soviet Russia. While the topics of patriotism and patriotic education are highly political and politicized, this study approaches them from a more sociological perspective. It is based on a variety of sources and empirical data, including the indicators and budgets of federal and regional patriotic-education programs and on field research. The book explores in depth all major agents of patriotic education in Russia, such as the government, schools, youth associations, churches, and the film/cartoon industry. It traces the development of governmental patriotic programs in recent decades, discusses how the Soviet past and political traditions influence today’s system of patriotic education, and presents numerous case studies illustrating real-life processes in current patriotic education.

The State Counsellor: A Fandorin Mystery by Boris Akunin (Jul 4 2017)

Since the publication of The Winter Queen, a New York Times Notable Book and the first mystery featuring Erast Fandorin, Boris Akunin’s historical mystery series has become a worldwide sensation, selling millions of copies and propelling Akunin into the ranks of Russia’s most widely read contemporary novelists. The first new Fandorin novel available to an American audience in a decade, The State Counsellor tests the handsome diplomat-detective’s guile and integrity like no mystery before.

Russia, 1891. The new governor-general of Siberia has been secreted away on a train from St. Petersburg to Moscow. A blizzard rages outside as a mustachioed official climbs aboard near the city; with his trademark stutter, he introduces himself as State Counsellor Erast Fandorin. He then thrusts a dagger inscribed with the initials CG into the governor-general’s heart and, tearing off his mustache, escapes out the carriage window. The head of the Department of Security soon shows up at the real Fandorin’s door and arrests him for murder. The only way to save his reputation is to find CG—and the government mole who is feeding the group information. Can Fandorin survive corruption among his fellow officials, the fearlessness of an unknown enemy, and the advances of a sultry young nihilist with his morals intact? The State Counsellor is a colorful entertainer from a master of the sly historical romp.

Cultural Forms of Protest in Russia by Birgit Beumers et al. (Aug 24 2017)

Alongside the Arab Spring, the ‘Occupy’ anti-capitalist movements in the West, and the events on the Maidan in Kiev, Russia has had its own protest movements, notably the political protests of 2011–12. As elsewhere in the world, these protests had unlikely origins, in Russia’s case spearheaded by the ‘creative class’. This book examines the protest movements in Russia. It discusses the artistic traditions from which the movements arose; explores the media, including the internet, film, novels and fashion, through which the protesters have expressed themselves; and considers the outcome of the movements, including the new forms of nationalism, intellectualism, and feminism put forward. Overall, the book shows how the Russian protest movements have suggested new directions for Russian – and global – politics.

Revolution! Writings from Russia by Pete Ayrton (Sep 5 2017)

Revolution! will contain writing by Russians and by foreigners who went to Russia and for whom the Russian Revolution was a political litmus test. The themes―hunger and heating, the limits of personal freedom, the infallibility of the party, free love, the role of art in the revolution―dominated twentieth century intellectual life and continue to resonate today. Many books on the Russian Revolution will be published in the centenary year, but Revolution! will be unique in portraying this momentous event through the writings of those who witnessed it (or its immediate after-effects).

Following No Man’s Land and No Pasaran, it is an anthology that vividly portrays the many sides of an event that changed the course of world history―and is still contested today.

Panorama: Intermediate Russian Language and Culture by Benjamin Rifkin et al. (Jun 10 2017)

Panorama moves intermediate-level students of Russian toward advanced proficiency by engaging them in a systematic and comprehensive approach to Russian grammar and engaging them with texts from a variety of genres, including proverbs and sayings, to immerse students in Russian culture.

By reading and listening to Russian literary classics and contemporary nonfiction texts, students develop a contextual understanding of Russian culture and forms of expression that grow their command of vocabulary, grammar, and complex syntax. The textbook includes comprehensive in-class vocabulary and grammar exercises and discussion topics as well as reading texts (for work in class and at home), summative oral and written exercises, and compelling color photos.

Russia and Its Islamic World: From the Mongol Conquest to the Syrian Military Intervention by Robert Service (Aug 1 2017)

Russia has long played an influential part in its world of Islam, and not all the dimensions are as widely understood as they ought to be. In Russia and Its Islamic World, Robert Service examines Russia’s interactions with Islam at home and around the globe and pinpoints the tsarist and Soviet legacy, current complications, and future possibilities. The author details how the Russian encounter with Islam was close and problematic long before the twenty-first century and how Russia has recently chosen to interfere in Muslim states of the Middle East, building alliances and making enemies. Service reveals how some features of the present-day relationship continue past policies; others are starkly and perilously different, making the current moment in global affairs dangerous for both Russians and the rest of us. He describes how the Kremlin dominates Muslims in the Russian Federation, exerts a deep influence on the Muslim-inhabited states on Russia’s southern frontiers, and has lunged militarily and politically into the Middle East. Foreign Muslims, he shows, do not value the leadership in Moscow except as a means to an end; Putin’s pose as a friend of the Islamic world is no more than a pose—and a hypocritical one at that.

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II by Svetlana Alexievich (Jul 25 2017)

A long-awaited English translation of the groundbreaking oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia—from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her invention of “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul.”

In The Unwomanly Face of War, Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women—more than a million in total—were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten.

Alexievich traveled thousands of miles and visited more than a hundred towns to record these women’s stories. Together, this symphony of voices reveals a different aspect of the war—the everyday details of life in combat left out of the official histories.

Translated by the renowned Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, The Unwomanly Face of War is a powerful and poignant account of the central conflict of the twentieth century, a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of war.

The Putin Interviews by Oliver Stone (Jun 16 2017)

Academy Award winner Oliver Stone was able to secure what journalists, news organizations, and even other world leaders have long coveted: extended, unprecedented access to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Putin Interviews are culled from more than a dozen interviews with Putin over a two-year span―never before has the Russian leader spoken in such depth or at such length with a Western interviewer. No topics are off limits in the interviews, which first occurred during Stone’s trips to meet with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Moscow and most recently after the election of President Donald Trump.

Prodded by Stone, Putin discusses relations between the United States and Russia, allegations of interference in the US election, and Russia’s involvement with conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere across the globe. Putin speaks about his rise to power and details his relationships with Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump. The exchanges are personal, provocative, and at times surreal. At one point, Stone asks, “Why did Russia hack the election?”; at another, Stone introduces him to Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 Cold War satire “Dr. Strangelove,” which the two watch together.

Stone has interviewed controversial world leaders before, including Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Benjamin Netanyahu. But The Putin Interviews, in its unmediated access to one of the most enigmatic and powerful men in the world, can only be compared to the series of conversations between David Frost and Richard Nixon we now refer to as “The Nixon Interviews” of 1977.

The book will also contain references and sources that give readers a deeper understanding of the topics covered in the interviews and make for a more robust reading experience.

pexels-photo-46274
Source: Pexels.
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7 comments

  1. “A riveting account of the last eighteen months of Tsar Nicholas II’s life and reign from one of the finest Russian historians writing today.”

    If it is indeed about last year and a half of his life, then this is not a life of a czar Nicholas – that’s the life of a citizen Nikolai Romanov. What certain people tend to forget, that he was not a czar, an abslute monarch, at the moment of his execution (as if it’s a special kind of crime worse than anything – “regicide”), Only 2 monarchs in Russian history were killed while “in office” – False-Dmitry I (he was crowned as “Dmitry Ivanovich”, after all) and Pavel I. All done by the conspirators of the upper tier of nobility. But it is us, ordinary, commoner Russians, who are constantly browbeaten into “falling on the knees and starting repenting” over such shitty ruler Nickky II.

    “Russian support for minority separatist movements, conflict, Russian intervention as peacekeepers, Russian control over the diplomatic process to prevent resolution of the conflict, and a perpetuation of Russian presence in the area. “

    Russians preventing ethnic cleansings (i.e. “to prevent resolution of the conflict” as the author puts it) is, OBVIOUSLY, a sign of Russian imperialism. Totally not like the Blessed Valinor of the West, oh no!

    “It analyzes the ways in which the West has interpreted and reacted to Russia’s domestic authoritarianism and foreign policy behavior and argues for diplomatic engagement based on liberal pluralism.”

    Whut?! No, really – what does it mean? What is this “liberal pluralism”? And how must the “illiberal pluralism” look like then?

    “The book explores in depth all major agents of patriotic education in Russia, such as the government, schools, youth associations, churches, and the film/cartoon industry. “

    “Masha i Medved'” is the element of Russian hybrid warfare. Didn’t you know? Estonian government said so. Must be true. And “Smeshariki”? Horror, horror.

    “For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century”

    No, She was a Russophobic hag. Insert: Lenin’s opinion on the intelligentzia, which styles itself a “brain of the nation”.

    Like

    • Just for the sake of starting an argument. (What’s a better way to introduce yourself to someone else’s blog that to start a silly argument?!)

      That some person is Russophobic actually makes him/her an asset, because the underlying reason is the sense of insecurity, which means that that person essentially doesn’t have an opinion of his/her own. His/her beliefs are pretty much an external thing. So they could be swayed to whatever shape is needed.

      Perhaps that’s not a workable theory, because it’s essentially an Adlerian argument?

      Like

      • Hello, Evgeny! Saw you kinda-sorta returned back to the KS.

        “That some person is Russophobic actually makes him/her an asset, because the underlying reason is the sense of insecurity, which means that that person essentially doesn’t have an opinion of his/her own. His/her beliefs are pretty much an external thing. So they could be swayed to whatever shape is needed.”

        That’s… rather optimistic outlook. Some people (categories of people, to be precise) possess absolutely animalistic, guttural hate of all things Russian – and you can do nothing about them. It’s this kind of Russophobia which transformed the Baltic limitrophes into apartheid states – under silent approval of the “International Community”, which, when they need to, just prefer to avert their gazes from SS-marches and discrimination of the Russophonics. It was this Russophobia which burned the people alive in Odessa. It is this Russophobia, which makes the esteemed august members of the Racially Superior Establishment to pass the judgment on the “genetic” and “inherent” qualities of Russians as the people.

        First thing first – we must admit that Russophobia exists. Enlightened Opinionated public usually retorts with their “It’s all Kremlenite propaganda, Russophobia is just a scarecrow!” narrative. But then you provide them with proofs – comments by the Ukrainian “democratic officials”, pundits and “political activists” from the battalion Azov; direct quotes from ministers and heads of the state from the Baltic region, when they recently outdid themselves, by comparing their ethnic Russians to the “louses in our overcoat”; or just any number of the honest, coming from the heart, musings of the so-called Russian so-called liberal opposition.

        “Well”, – respond Highly Opinionated people , – “What were you expecting? All of them suffered for CENTURIES from Russian Imperialism ™, and some of them suffer to this day! They are totally justified to feel and say these things”. But the moment when you ask them in turn, whether various Muslim countries are justified with their talks of wiping out the Jewish State of Israel from the map (“it’s only words”, we are constantly reminded), and they over the decades have enough reasons to be justified, the eagles of the Freedom and Tolerance, turn into chickens, cluck-clucking in a high-pitched voices “Aiiiiiii! Anti-semitism!”.

        In Soviet times, Alexievich wrote numerous works and poems praising Party, Country and Lenin. She did it no less talented than she is writing now – and she received various Republican (of the Belarus SSR) and State awards for her “creatifff”. Now the so-called International Community decided to award her latest efforts, as if telling all low and sundry – we reward Russophobia. Gib us more. Look at “director” Zvaygintsev – of course his shit-flics will be showered with awards in the international film fests, because he is “showing the real Russia”, and Real Russia ™ must always be some kind of Mordor.

        How can you combat this? Not only these people doing what their rotten heart commands, but they are also paid for that!

        Like

        • Hello, Lyttenburgh! Yes, I’ve been around more frequently these days. No specific reason for that. 🙂

          I don’t know the answer to your question. But what I believe should be done is setting the record straight.

          To sum up what you’ve said about Alexievich, during her entire life she had a single occupation — lying for money. 😉 So, exposing the fraud should be a viable strategy to deal with Russophobes.

          Because it’s one thing to be exposed as a Russophobe, and it’s an _entirely_ different matters to be exposed as a fraudster.

          Like

      • “You forgot Emperor Alexander II., one of Nicky’s grandfathers.”

        D’oh! Forgot to mention the most obvious one. Of course, him also! BTW – these particular assassins from “Narodnaya Volya” who organized the hit were all either from “very good families”, or, also, from the nobility. My point was – let the nobs fall on their treacherous knees and pray for their transgression, not us, the commoners.

        Like

  2. “Russia in the Wake of the Cold War: Perceptions and Prejudices” might be a fairly interesting read. Would need to have a look. Thanks, J.T.!

    Liked by 1 person

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