"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, January 2, 2012

Russian Peoples in 2012

Russia, of course, remains the largest Orthodox country in the world and the continuing object of widespread fascination to many. Indiana University Press has just sent me their spring 2012 catalogue containing many interesting books, including these two that will be of interest to Slavists: Barbara Evans Clements, A History of Women in Russia: From Earliest Times to the Present (IU Press, May 2012).

About this book the publisher tells us:
Synthesizing several decades of scholarship by historians East and West, Barbara Evans Clements traces the major developments in the history of women in Russia and their impact on the history of the nation. Sketching lived experiences across the centuries, she demonstrates the key roles that women played in shaping Russia's political, economic, social, and cultural development for over a millennium. The story Clements tells is one of hardship and endurance, but also one of achievement by women who, for example, promoted the conversion to Christianity, governed estates, created great art, rebelled against the government, established charities, built the tanks that rolled into Berlin in 1945, and flew the planes that strafed the retreating Wehrmacht. This daunting and complex history is presented in an engaging survey that integrates this scholarship into the field of Russian and post-Soviet history.
The second work, to be released next July, is edited by Stephen M. Norris and Willard Sunderland, Russia's People of Empire: Life Stories from Eurasia, 1500 to the Present (IU Press, July 2012).

About this book, the publisher tells us:
A fundamental dimension of the Russian historical experience has been the diversity of its people and cultures, religions and languages, landscapes and economies. For six centuries this diversity was contained within the sprawling territories of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, and it persists today in the entwined states and societies of the former USSR. Russia's People of Empire explores this enduring multicultural world through life stories of 31 individuals -- famous and obscure, high born and low, men and women -- that illuminate the cross-cultural exchanges at work from the late 1500s to post-Soviet Russia. Working on the scale of a single life, these microhistories shed new light on the multicultural character of the Russian Empire, which both shaped individuals' lives and in turn was shaped by them.

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