Tag Archives: Russia

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Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets. Svetlana Alexievich, tr. Bela Shayevich.  New York: Random House, 2016.
 
One of Dostoevsky’s more profound and even prophetic philosophical questions is posed by Ivan, the intellectual, to his younger brother Alyosha, the aspiring monk, in The Brothers Karamazov: Would he find the torture of one child acceptable if it was somehow the necessary means…

Novels and the Sociology of the Contemporary. Arpad Szakolczai. Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2016.
 
Arpad Szakolczai is Professor of Sociology at University College Cork, and the first book’s subtitle is The Sociology of the Contemporary (hereafter NS) while the second occurs within a Contemporary Liminality Series. Still, all of Szakolczai’s work seems to effortlessly go beyond what’s conventionally regarded as…

Introduction
Bipolarity in international relations was the main characteristic of the Cold War Era. The world was divided between two opposing political, economic and military blocs. The Soviet Union installed communist regimes in most of the European countries during the Second World War in Central and Eastern Europe. This process was condemned by the United States and its Western European allies,…

Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, when the Soviet Union was dissolved and former Soviet republics became sovereign states. Since that time Ukraine started its own policy, with the Ukrainian point of view on history, international relations, and politics differing greatly from the Russian perspective. But during the Cold War period Ukraine was also a part of the USSR, which…

Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble—and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb, too. The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s villains stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology.
Ideology—that is what gives villainy its long-sought justification and gives the villain the necessary steadfastness and determination . . .
Thanks to ideology, the twentieth…

As late as Nov 29, 1988, well into the Gorbachev period of "glasnost," Suslov’s successor and top party ideologist, Vadim Medvedev "confirmed Solzhenitsyn would remain on the Soviet Union’s blacklist of forbidden writers," saying that “to publish Solzhenitsyn’s work is to undermine the foundation on which our present life rests.”’[1] As Edward Ericson and Daniel Mahoney write in their introduction…

A special relationship between the United States and Russia existed during the period 2001–2002, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. However, this relationship of cooperation quickly became adversarial and competitive because of diverging strategic interests. As the only country with the capacity to destroy the United States with its nuclear stockpile, Russia plays an important…

New Trends in Russian Political Mentality: Putin 3.0. Elena Shestopal, ed. Lanham, Lexington Books, 2015.
 
Quantitative measures of political phenomena can be enormously appealing.  They seem to provide a parsimonious expression of political reality.  The "scientific" basis of quantitative methodology also lends to it a logical rigor not found in purely descriptive approaches of politics.   Unfortunately, they are often inaccurate. …

Russia's Lost Reformation: Peasants, Millennialism, and Radical Sects in Southern Russia and Ukraine, 1830-1917. Sergei I. Zhuk.  Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 2004.
 
Suppressed by both the Russian Orthodox Church and Soviet scholars, Russia's "radical reformation" has been lost and forgotten in recent historiography.  Zhuk resurrects this movement into our historical consciousness by primarily looking at two nineteenth-century groups: the…