The Horrors of War: Leonid Andreyev’s “The Red Laugh” (1904)

Combat at the Dalinsky Pass. 21st East Siberian Rifle Regimen

Leonid Andreyev's "The Red Laugh" appeared a decade before the outbreak of World War I, but its unsparing portrait of the psychological effects of warfare seems almost like a warning to the traumatic century that was just beginning. In "The Red Laugh", Andreyev writes of an ordinary individual soldier who descends into madness, exploring how war affects both those who fight and those who are left behind.

Just the Facts?: “Ryszard Kapuściński: A Life”, by Artur Domosławski (Review)

Ryszard Kapuściński (1932-2007) overcame humble beginnings and a war-torn childhood to become the most famous journalist of the 20th century, covering revolutions from around the globe and creating a form of literary journalism all his own. In this biography, Artur Domosławski sets out on a quest to disentangle fact from fiction, and the man from the myth.

Living by the Sword: “Angel of Vengeance” by Ana Siljak (Review)

In 1878, the Governor of St. Petersburg was shot at point-blank range in an assassination attempt. To everyone's surprise, the perpetrator was a young woman named Vera Zasulich, whose violent act seemed to form an odd contrast with her quiet demeanour. In this story of radicalism, Ana Siljak uncovers how one seemingly ordinary woman triggered the birth of Russian Terrorism.