Saturday, January 15, 2011

Russian history recommendations

One of the ambitions this month, which I have to accept will have to be postponed, is to read Orlando Figes The Whisperers. It describes what it was like to live in a society that thrived on informants and divided families and friends through vicious word of mouth.

But although I will fail to read it let me just recommend some non-fiction books about Russia that have come out in the last few years.

A People's Tragedy by Orlando Figes is a real doorstopper but it is a great read and account of the revolution and its aftermath

Simon Sebag Montefiore has done a few books on Stalin which are worth a read, I've not got through them all, but The Court of the Red Tsar details a man capable of horrible things but a lonely man unable in the end to trust anyone.

Robert Service has written some heavyweight autobiographies of the main characters and his book on Lenin is a good one to get an insight into the father of the Russian revolution.

Anne Applebaum's Gulag shines a light on the dark side of a regime

Will add to this post as I think of more but the above were all good reads.

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