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Natasha S Dance

Author: Orlando Figes
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 1466862890
Size: 27.80 MB
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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.

The Whisperers

Author: Orlando Figes
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 1466829230
Size: 35.75 MB
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From the award-winning author of A People's Tragedy and Natasha's Dance, a landmark account of what private life was like for Russians in the worst years of Soviet repression There have been many accounts of the public aspects of Stalin's dictatorship: the arrests and trials, the enslavement and killing in the gulags. No previous book, however, has explored the regime's effect on people's personal lives, what one historian called "the Stalinism that entered into all of us." Now, drawing on a huge collection of newly discovered documents, The Whisperers reveals for the first time the inner world of ordinary Soviet citizens as they struggled to survive amidst the mistrust, fear, compromises, and betrayals that pervaded their existence. Moving from the Revolution of 1917 to the death of Stalin and beyond, Orlando Figes re-creates the moral maze in which Russians found themselves, where one wrong turn could destroy a family or, perversely, end up saving it. He brings us inside cramped communal apartments, where minor squabbles could lead to fatal denunciations; he examines the Communist faithful, who often rationalized even their own arrest as a case of mistaken identity; and he casts a humanizing light on informers, demonstrating how, in a repressive system, anyone could easily become a collaborator. A vast panoramic portrait of a society in which everyone spoke in whispers—whether to protect their families and friends, or to inform upon them—The Whisperers is a gripping account of lives lived in impossible times.

Revolutionary Russia 1891 1991

Author: Orlando Figes
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 0805095985
Size: 49.61 MB
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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.

A People S Tragedy

Author: Orlando Figes
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
ISBN: 9780140243642
Size: 61.79 MB
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Covers Russian history from the end of the nineteenth century to the death of Lenin, and explores how Russian pre-revolution social forces were violently erased and replaced

Just Send Me Word

Author: Orlando Figes
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 0805095233
Size: 16.56 MB
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A heroic love story and an unprecedented inside view of one of Stalin's most notorious labor camps, based on a remarkable cache of letters smuggled in and out of the Gulag "I went to get the letters for our friends, and couldn't help but feel a little envious, I didn't expect anything for myself. And suddenly—there was my name, and, as if it was alive, your handwriting." In 1946, after five years as a prisoner—first as a Soviet POW in Nazi concentration camps, then as a deportee (falsely accused of treason) in the Arctic Gulag—twenty-nine-year-old Lev Mishchenko unexpectedly received a letter from Sveta, the sweetheart he had hardly dared hope was still alive. Amazingly, over the next eight years the lovers managed to exchange more than 1,500 messages, and even to smuggle Sveta herself into the camp for secret meetings. Their recently discovered correspondence is the only known real-time record of life in Stalin's Gulag, unmediated and uncensored. Orlando Figes, "the great storyteller of modern Russian historians" (Financial Times), draws on Lev and Sveta's letters as well as KGB archives and recent interviews to brilliantly reconstruct the broader world in which their story unfolded. With the powerful narrative drive of a novel, Just Send Me Word reveals a passion and endurance that triumphed over the tragic forces of history.

Peasant Russia Civil War

Author: Orlando Figes
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN: 9781842124215
Size: 25.48 MB
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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.

The Crimean War

Author: Orlando Figes
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 9781429997249
Size: 43.68 MB
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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..

Picturing Russia

Author: Valerie Ann Kivelson
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300119615
Size: 19.90 MB
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What can Russian images and objects—a tsar’s crown, a provincial watercolor album, the Soviet Pioneer Palace—tell us about the Russian people and their culture? This wide-ranging book is the first to explore the visual culture of Russia over the entire span of Russian history, from ancient Kiev to contemporary, post-Soviet society. Illustrated with more than one hundred diverse and fascinating images, the book examines the ways that Russians have represented themselves visually, understood their visual environment, and used visual images in social and political contexts. Expert contributors discuss images and objects from all over the Russian/Soviet empire, including consumer goods, architectural monuments, religious icons, portraits, news and art photography, popular prints, films, folk art, and more. Each of the concise and accessible essays in the volume offers a fresh interpretation of Russian cultural history. Putting visuality itself in focus as never before, Picturing Russia adds an entirely new dimension to the study of Russian literature, history, art, and culture. The book enriches our understanding of visual documents and shows the variety of ways they serve as far more than mere illustration.

Kabul In Winter

Author: Ann Jones
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 1466827653
Size: 18.45 MB
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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.

Icon And Axe

Author: James Billington
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307765288
Size: 38.31 MB
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"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.