Making Light of a Soviet Childhood

Book review: Everything is Normal, by Sergey Grechishkin Book Depository Railways and trains in Russia have always been much more than just pragmatic modes of getting from point A to point B. For a Russian soul, a never-ending train journey across the empty vastness of its land is a state of mind, a meditation, an... Continue Reading →

A Girl, Growing Up and Growing Wiser, in Leningrad

Book review: A Mountain of Crumbs, by Elena Gorokhova Book Depository This memoir has one of the most beautiful and intensely evocative openings I've read in a long time: I wish my mother had come from Leningrad, from the world of Pushkin and the tsars, of granite embankments and lace ironwork, of pearly domes buttressing... Continue Reading →

Outsiders Bearing Witness to Revolution

Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, Russia, 1917 - A World on the Edge by Helen Rappaport (Amazon / Book Depository) Helen Rappaport, author of 2014's popular history¬†The Romanov Sisters,¬†among other titles on history and royals both Russian and otherwise, explains in her acknowledgments for Caught in the Revolution that while working as a historian she... Continue Reading →

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