New Books in Russia and Eurasian Studies

New Books in Russia and Eurasian Studies

Sean Guillory

Description: Discussions with Scholars of Russia and Eurasia about their New Books

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Anna Fishzon, “Fandom, Authenticity, and Opera: Mad Acts and Letter Scenes in Fin-de-Siècle Russia”

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[Cross-posted from New Books in History] Pretty much everyone understands what is called the “Cult of Celebrity,” particularly as it manifests itself in the arts. It’s a mentality that privileges the actor over the act, the singer over the song, the painter over the painting, and so on. The C...

Olga Gershenson, “The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe”

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Jewish Studies] Fifty years of Holocaust screenplays and films "largely unknown, killed by censors, and buried in dusty archives " come to life in Olga Gershenson’s The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe (Rutgers UP, 2013). As she ventures...

Waitman Beorn, “Marching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belarus”

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[Cross-posted from New Books in History] The question of Wehrmacht complicity in the Holocaust is an old one. What might be called the “received view” until recently was that while a small number of German army units took part in anti-Jewish atrocities, the great bulk of the army neither knew...

Denis Kozlov, “The Readers of Novyi Mir: Coming to Terms with the Stalinist Past”

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In Russia’s collective memory, the Stalin terror is often remembered and referred to by its most grueling year: “1937.” Following Stalin’s death and the shocking revelations about his regime exposed by his successor Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet citizens began to remember and rethink the turbule...

Peter Savodnik, “The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union”

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[Cross-posted from New Books in History] For many people, the most important questions about the Kennedy assassination are “Who killed Kennedy?” and, if Lee Harvey Oswald did, “Was Oswald part of a conspiracy?” This is strange, because we know the answers to both questions: Oswald killed K...

Steven Usitalo, “The Invention of Mikhail Lomonosov: A Russian National Myth”

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Mikhail Lomonosov is a well known Russian figure. As poet, geographer, and physicist, Lomonosov enjoyed access to the best resources that 18th century Russia had to offer. As a result, his contributions to Russian arts and sciences were immeasurable. The source and shape of his celebrity, however, i...

Robert Gellately, “Stalin’s Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War”

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[Cross-posted from New Books in History] It takes two to tango, right? Indeed it does. But it’s also true that someone has got to ask someone else to dance before any tangoing is done. Beginning in the 1960s, the American intellectual elite argued"and seemed to really believe"that the United Sta...

Kate Brown, “Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters”

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[Cross-posted from New Book in History] Kate Brown’s Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford University Press, 2013) is a tale of two atomic cities"one in the US (Richland, Washington) and one in the Soviet Union (Ozersk, Russi...

Kees Boterbloem, “Moderniser of Russia: Andrei Vinius, 1641-1716″

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[Cross-posted from New Books in History] As you can read in any Russian history textbook, a series of seventeenth-century tsars culminating in Peter the Great attempted to “modernize” Russia. This is not false: the Romanovs did initiate a great wave of “Europeanizing” reforms. But it’s no...

Wendy Z. Goldman, “Inventing the Enemy: Denunciation and Terror in Stalin’s Russia”

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A period of mass repression and terror swept through the Soviet Union between the years of 1936-39. Following the shocking Kirov assassination and show trials of alleged factory saboteurs, paranoia gripped the nation and culminated in the execution and imprisonment of millions of Soviet citizens. Th...
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