Tag Archives: Russia

Books books books

Between the nonfunctional hospital wifi and the only decent television programs being overtaken by baseball, most of my entertainment last week was good ol’ fashioned books. Midnight at Chernobyl popped onto my radar after I watched the excellent HBO series … Continue reading

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Of anthropology, Solzhenitsyn, and a return to the gulag archipelago

If I’ve been quiet as of late, I’ve been bedridden with a severe sinus infection, one that came with headaches so severe that I couldn’t even use my four days off of work to read. Yesterday was the first day … Continue reading

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Soviets…..in Space

Soviets in Space: The People of the USSR and the Race to the Moon© 2021 Colin Turbett232 pages In 1959, Soviet Russia shocked the world, and especially its rival the United States, by launching an artificial satellite into orbit. Sputnik-I’s … Continue reading

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Of Putin, Hamilton, wars, and corona

I entered quarantine on Tuesday, immediately after having my COVID test done. Since then my physical condition has improved (coughing is minimal, energy levels are much better) although until I test negative I’m still locked away from the public. I’ve … Continue reading

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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov© 1879 Fyodor Dostoevsky, trans. 1992 Pevear & Volkonsky840 pages Fathers and teachers, I ask myself: “What is hell?” And I answer thus: “The suffering of being no longer able to love.” The Brothers Karamazov has the unusual … Continue reading

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To Build a Castle

To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter ©  1978 Vladimir Bukovsky 438 pages When frustrated Soviet officials asked Vlaldimir Bukovsky why he continued to provoke them, he replied that he doubted he could cause them nearly as much … Continue reading

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My Disillusionment in Russia

My Disillusionment in Russia © 1923 Emma Goldman 271 pages “Is there any change in the world? Or is it all an eternal recurrence of man’s inhumanity to man?”    – Emma Goldman, 1921 In 1919, then-notorious anarchist Emma Goldman was … Continue reading

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War and Peace

War and Peace pub. 1869 Leo Tolstoy trans.  1957 Rosemary Edmunds 1444 pages My word, what a book!   In the beginning, dear readers, I’ll confess that I anticipated failure. Tolstoy’s epic addressing the nature of history and war,  and the … Continue reading

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The book as a squarish chunk of hot smoking conscience

In autumn of 2017, The New Criterion published an article about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “cathedrals“, his Gulag Archipelago and a series of epic ‘novels’ known as the Red Wheel series. I delayed posting this until I was finished with the trilogy, … Continue reading

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The Sea Wolves

© 2014 Lars Brownsworth 300 pages “Deliver us, Lord, from the hands of the Northmen!”    While that exact prayer may be apocryphal,  the sentiment certainly resounded in communities from Ireland to Cordoba to Constantinople.  In two of the final centuries … Continue reading

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