Book yourself in for …. Russian history and biographies

Why not to get cosy with the one of the great new reads in Russian history and biographies?

  1. Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science (November 2014) by Daniel P. Todes

This is the first scholarly biography of Pavlov in any language which demonstrates that Pavlov’s research on conditional reflexes was widely misinterpreted during his lifetime and afterwards.  The book also reveals and analyzes in detail Pavlov’s conflicted and evolving relationship with the Bolsheviks from 1917 until his death in 1936.


  1. Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire (The Greater War) by Joshua A. Sanborn (September 2014)

The book was written from the material from nine different archives and hundreds of published sources.  It is the study about state failure, military violence, and decolonization and collapse of Russian Empire during WWI.  An attention is paid to individual lives of soldiers, doctors, nurses, politicians, and civilians caught up in the global conflict.


  1. The Defiant Life of Vera Figner. Surviving the Russian Revolution by Lynne Ann Hartnett (May 2014)The Defiant Life of Vera Figner. Surviving the Russian Revolution by Lynne Ann Hartnett


This engaging biography tells the dramatic story of a Russian noblewoman turned revolutionary terrorist. Born in 1852 in the last years of serfdom, Vera Figner came of age as Imperial Russian society was being rocked by the massive upheaval that culminated in the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. At first a champion of populist causes and women’s higher education, Figner later became a leader of the terrorist party the People’s Will and was an accomplice in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. Drawing on extensive archival research and careful reading of Figner’s copious memoirs, Lynne Ann Hartnett reveals how Figner survived the Bolshevik revolution and Stalin’s Great Purges and died a lionized revolutionary legend as the Nazis bore down on Moscow in 1942.


4.      Foresight and Perseverance by Sylvia McNeall (2014)

This is a true story of three generations of the Zinoffsky and Parret family caught in the events of the first half of the 20th Century’s history and politics. It touches on the Russian Revolution in Moscow, World War II, displacement and being refugees. As well it portrays this Estonian family as immigrants and what life was like in innocent Australia during the 1950s and 1960s.


  1. Newly translated book “High Society Dinners: Dining in Tsarist Russia” (Prospect Books, 2014) by Yuri Lotman and Jelena Pogosjan offers a flavoursome look at noble eating habits, supplementing genuine recipes with historical information and literary allusions.


  1. Tolstoy’s false disciple by Alexandra Popoff (November 2014)

Tolstoy’s full exchange with Chertkov comprises more than 2,000 letters, making him the writer’s largest correspondent. The Russian archives have suppressed much of this communication as well as Chertkov’s papers for more than a century. The product of ground-breaking archival research,Tolstoy’s False Disciple promises to be a revelatory portrait of the two men and their three-decade-long clandestine relationship.


  1. Everyday life in Russia Past and Present (June 2014) by Choi Chatterjee (Editor), David L. Ransel (Editor), Mary Cavender (Editor), Karen Petrone (Editor)


Original essays on long-term patterns of everyday life, cultural practices, power relations, and behaviors that characterized daily existence for Russians in pre-revolutionary, Soviet, and contemporary Russia.

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