This year did not disappoint us. The following books on Russian ancestry, history and biography have been published:
Jul 7, 2016, by Daniel Beer
‘A superb, colourful history of Siberian exile under the tsars’ – The Times
It was known as ‘the vast prison without a roof’. From the beginning of the nineteenth century to the Russian Revolution, the tsarist regime exiled more than one million prisoners and their families beyond the Ural Mountains to Siberia.
Daniel Beer’s new book, The House of the Dead, brings to life both the brutal realities of an inhuman system and the tragic and inspiring fates of those who endured it. This is the vividly told history of common criminals and political radicals, the victims of serfdom and village politics, the wives and children who followed husbands and fathers, and of fugitives and bounty-hunters.
Nov 22, 2016, by Douglas Smith
On the centenary of the death of Rasputin comes a definitive biography that will dramatically change our understanding of this fascinating figure
Bolshoi Confidential: Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today
Oct 11, 2016, by Simon Morrison
Bolshoi has transcended its own fraught history, surviving 250 years of artistic and political upheaval to define not only Russian culture but also ballet itself. In this sweeping, definitive account, Morrison demonstrates once and for all that, as Russia goes, so goes the Bolshoi Ballet.
Moscow in the 1930s – A Novel from the Archives
May 5, 2016, by Natalia Gromova
Moscow in the 1930s: A Novel from the Archives reveals Moscow as it was in a bygone age, a city now found only on old maps, but an era that continues to haunt us today. The novel features a wide cast of characters, who are all tied together by the author herself. The reader plunges into the remarkable Moscow literary scene of those days, and literature aficionados will encounter within a number of important locations for the history of Russian letters: the Dobrov house, Peredelkino, Lavrushinsky Lane, Borisoglebsky Lane – and also the names of legendary figures such as Olga Bessarabova, Maria Belkina, and Lydia Libedinskaya. History is brought to life: the author introduces the reader to Leonid Andreyev, leads us on a tour of the side-streets and alleyways of the Arbat district, and shows us the tattered notebooks of Olga Bessarabova. All this has long since fallen away into history, but now it
Russia’s Last Gasp: The Eastern Front 1916–17
September 20, 2016, by Prit Buttar
n Russia’s Last Gasp, Prit Buttar looks at one of the bloodiest campaigns launched in the history of warfare–the Brusilov Offensive, sometimes known as the June Advance. With British, French and German forces locked in a stalemate in the trenches of the Western Front, an attack was launched by the massed Russian armies to the east. The assault was intended to knock Austria-Hungary out of the war and divert German troops from the Western Front, easing the pressure on Russia’s allies. Russia’s dismal military performance in the preceding years was forgotten, as the Brusilov Offensive was quickly characterized by innovative tactics. Most impressive of all was the Russian use of shock troops,
Hard Times: A Novel of Liberals and Radicals in 1860s Russia
October 26, 2016 by Vasily Sleptsov
The novella Hard Times is considered Sleptsov’s most important work. It focused popular attention on the radical and liberal movements through its fictional setting, where the characters contend with constantly evolving political and social dilemmas. Hard Times was immediately recognized as a vibrant and compelling depiction of prerevolutionary Russian intellectual society, full of lively debates about the possibilities of liberal reform or radical revolution that questioned the viability of a political system facing massive social problems.
This is the first English-language version of Hard Times, expertly and fluidly translated by Michael Katz. Highly readable, it provides important historical insights on the political and social climate of a volatile and transformative period in Russia history.