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.
Old Worlds, New Worlds: Vyacheslav Nikonov’s “The Code of Civilization” (Review)
In recent decades, Western intellectuals have been discussing the possible decline and fall of the West on the global stage, but the voices of Russian intellectuals are rarely heard in such discussions. In "The Code of Civilization", Russian academic Vyacheslav Nikonov offers his take on the rapidly shifting power dynamics in the current world order.
Book Finds: An Excerpt from “Young Heroes of the Soviet Union”, by Alex Halberstadt
Literary Hub has featured an excerpt from a new memoir by Alex Halberstadt, "Young Heroes of the Soviet Union: A Memoir and a Reckoning" (Penguin Random House, 2020), tracing the tumultuous lives of his various family members under the Soviet Union.
Decline and Fall: “The Empire Must Die”, by Mikhail Zygar (Review)
In this gripping history, Russian journalist Mikhail Zygar takes readers on a colourful, panoramic journey of the final two decades leading up to one of the seismic events of the 20th century: the collapse of the old order of the Romanov Tsars, and the birth of the Russian Revolution.
“Not in Prison, But What’s the Difference?”: “The Day Will Pass Away”, by Ivan Chistyakov (Review)
The most famous literary works associated with the Gulag tend to be those by political prisoners . . . but this startling memoir gives us a glimpse into the system from a prison guard's point of view.