Reading list inspiration for travel
Books & eBooks
- Gulag: A HistoryView on Amazon The Gulag — a vast array of Soviet concentration camps that held millions of political and criminal prisoners — was a system of repression and punishment that terrorized the entire society, embodying the worst tendencies of Soviet communism. By Anne Applebaum.
- MalevichView on Amazon Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935) was Russia’s most influential avant-garde artist. In this Tate Modern catalog, essays by leading art historians discuss all aspects of his diverse output, offering an overview of his groundbreaking work. Edited by Achim Borchardt-Hume.
- Nothing is True and Everything is PossibleView on Amazon The heart of twenty-first-century Russia is erupting with new money and new power, home to a form of dictatorship — far subtler than twentieth-century strains — that is rapidly rising to challenge the West. By Peter Pomerantsev.
- Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to BuidaView on Amazon An excellent sampling of Russia's short story tradition, this anthology includes 41 short stories by 26 writers, originally published from 1834-1998. Edited by Robert Chandler.
- Russka: A Novel of RussiaView on Amazon Spanning 1800 years of Russia's history, people, politics, and culture, the author crafts a grand saga that is as multifaceted as Russia itself. By Edward Rutherford.
- Speak, MemoryView on Amazon The famous Russian novelist's autobiography, a compelling non-linear collection of memories that reveal his identity as a person and artist. By Vladimir Nabokov.
- St Petersburg: A Cultural HistoryView on Amazon The author reveals the cultural identity of St Petersburg through by an era-by-era examination of its most telling art forms. By Solomon Volkov.
- Stories of Anton ChekhovView on Amazon A collection of thirty of Chekhov’s best tales from the major periods of his creative life. By Anton Chekhov; edited by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
- The Cold War: A New HistoryView on Amazon The Yale historian assembles the definitive account of the global confrontation that dominated the last half of the twentieth century. By John Lewis Gaddis.
- The King of VodkaView on Amazon The rise of Russian entrepreneur, Pyotr Smirnov (1831-1898), and his quintessential vodka brand. By Linda Himelstein.
- The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir PutinView on Amazon Within a few brief years, virtually every obstacle to his unbridled control was removed and every opposing voice silenced, with political rivals and critics driven into exile or to the grave. By Masha Gessen.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “A Conversation with Svetlana Alexievich”View on dalkeyarchive.com A telling conversation with the Belarus-born winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature. By Ana Lucic.
- “Lost Exile”View on VanityFair.com The unlikely life and sudden death of The Exile, Russia’s angriest newspaper. By James Verni.
- “Missile Defense Didn’t Win the Cold War”View on ForeignPolicy.com The real doomsday machine, the Russian response to Star Wars, and other Soviet-era mysteries finally decoded. By David E Hoffman.
- “Net Impact”View on NewYorker.com One man's cyber-crusade against Russian corruption. By Julia Ioffe.
- “Polar Express”View on NewYorker.com Because the extent and thickness of ice during the Arctic summer have diminished in recent years, the Northeast Passage — for centuries an obsession of explorers — could soon become an everyday part of merchant shipping. By Keith Gessen.
- “Putin’s Long Game Meet the Eurasian Union”View on BostonGlobe.com It starts in 2015 and sounds like a scheme to rebuild the USSR, but its history is quite different — and troubling for the West. By Leon Neyfakh.
- “Six Stories from the Russian North”View on CalvertJournal.com Cold and hostile, the Russian North looms large in the imagination as a brutal and unforgiving region. But from luminous polar nights to the haunting White Sea archipelago, it’s also a place of magic and wonder. Here are six tales from the edge of the world.
- “The Cossacks Ride Again”View on RoadsandKingdoms.com In President Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Cossacks are being repurposed as enforcers of neighborhood law and order. By Alec Luhn.
- “The Forgotten Ephemera of Genius”View on BelieverMag.com The implausible but true story of Russia's first film animator. By Noah Sneider.
- “The VICE Guide to Russia”View on VICE.com Not your typical info. By Mark Ames.
- “Twilight on the Tundra”View on TheMorningNews.com How do you see what mushers see? You mush. An adventure on the Beringia, a dog sled race stretching over Russia’s easternmost tundra. If in the process you see more than you ever expected—more of humanity, more of yourself—then thank the people of 685 miles of snow. By Julia Phillips.
- “Vasily Kandinsky”View on Guggenheim.org The catalog from a sizable retrospective of the museum's signature artist. It contains over fifty annotated images of works featured in the exhibition (in color and black-and-white), an introduction by Vivian Endicott Barnett and a chronology of the artist's career.
Online Sources & Blogs
- The Calvert JournalVisit calvertjournal.com An excellent source for all things cultural in Russia. A daily briefing on the culture and creativity of modern Russia.
- Travelers’ Health | RussiaVisit CDC.gov Get the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for vaccines and medicines.
- World Bank | RussiaVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
Just for Kids
- Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the BraveView on Amazon Elaborate interpretation of a Russian folktale, which incorporates elements of Hansel and Gretel as well as the Cinderella story. By Marianna Mayer.
- The Keeping QuiltView on Amazon Polacco's family story about a quilt made from an immigrant Jewish family's clothing from their Russian homeland. By Patricia Polacco.
Who to Follow
- Twitter: Alec LuhnFollow @ASLuhn Journalist. @TheNation, @Guardian, @Independent, @ViceNews, @ForeignPolicy, @Slate, @Politico, ?. Reporting in Russia since 2008 & Ukraine since 2009.
- Twitter: Anatoly ZakFollow @RussianSpaceWeb Author of Russia in Space; journalist, illustrator.
- Twitter: Isabel StokholmFollow @Danrussophile Love Russia and its art. BA Oxford MA Courtauld. Researching cross-generational relations and socialising between artists in late 19th-century Russia.
- Twitter: Russia MagazineFollow @russiamagazine Covering contemporary Russian art and culture.
- Twitter: The Moscow TimesFollow @MoscowTimes Russia's only daily newspaper in English. Covering business, politics and culture in Russia and the CIS since 1992.
- Twitter: Tom ParfittFollow @parfitt_tom Moscow correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. Tweeting on Russia, the Caucasus and other things which interest me.
- Twitter: WSJ Emerging EuropeFollow @EmergingEurope WSJ and Dow Jones reporters provide the inside track on economics, politics and business in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Turkey.