Evgeny Dobrenko— In Russia everything changes over ten years and nothing changes over two hundred years. These words, attributed to Petr Stolypin, were borne out, it seems, by all of the country’s subsequent history. In the first decade of the twentieth century, when the words were spoken, Russia had experienced
David Reynolds— For nearly four years, and against all the odds, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Josef Stalin led the most effective alliance in history. Yet they met face-to-face only twice. Instead, the ‘Big Three’ had to communicate through secret telegrams and coded letters. They exchanged more than six hundred messages
Oleg V. Khlevniuk; Translated by Nora Seligman Favorov— Over his seventy-four-year life, the Soviet dictator fought through a stormy historical landscape to become an important factor in events not only in Russia, but also the world. Among scholars, there is more agreement than controversy on the historical and ideational antecedents
Golfo Alexopoulos— In the Gulag or forced labor camp system under Stalin, 1929-1953, prisoners represented the state’s “human raw material.” Camp officials recorded prisoners’ illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths as a way of tracking one of the most important pieces of data for the party—“lost labor days.” The Stalinist camp system
James Heinzen— I first became fascinated with the social and cultural dimensions of everyday bribery in the Soviet Union when I was robbed in Moscow in 1992, just after the collapse of the USSR. My wallet was swiped by a group of kids while I was walking in central Moscow. When
As the headline states, the landmark series Annals of Communism is once again making news as a key resource for scholars of the Soviet Union. Jonathan Brent, editorial director for Yale University Press, discusses a exciting new project in an article featured in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. “The
On Sunday The Boston Globe ran a profile of Jonathan Brent, the associate director and editorial director of Yale University Press and the executive editor of the Annals of Communism Series. The series is a 20-book project that “provides new and vivid details from documents that have been mined by
How did the rulers of the Soviet Union pass the time during long Politburo meetings in the Kremlin? They doodled. Sketching on notebook pages, official letterheads, and the margins of draft documents, prominent Soviet leaders in the 1920s and 1930s amused themselves and their colleagues with drawings of one another.