New Books Network

Stephen Collier, “Post-Soviet Social: Neoliberalism, Social Modernity, Biopolitics” (Princeton UP, 2011)
Pipes matter. That’s right: pipes. Anyone who has spent time in Russia knows that the hulkish cylinders that snake throughout its cities are the lifeblood of urban space, linking apartment block after apartment block into a centralized network. But pipes are more than tentacles that form the Russian social state.... Read More
Richard Sakwa, “The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism, and the Medvedev Succession” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
Richard Sakwa‘s new book, The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism, and the Medvedev Succession (Cambridge University Press, 2011), comes at a moment in Russian political history when uncertainty is once again in the headlines and on the lips of experts and journalists. While Sakwa’s book is principally... Read More
Melissa Caldwell, “Dacha Idylls: Living Organically in Russia’s Countryside” (University of California Press, 2010)
Russians’ dachas are regularly mentioned in a sentence or two in newspaper articles about life in Russia, and many of who have visited the lands of the former Soviet Union have visited dachas. Yet, just as Russians themselves treat dachas as an escape, outsiders tend to treat them as peripheral.... Read More
Anna Krylova, “Soviet Women in Combat: A History of Violence on the Eastern Front” (Cambridge UP, 2010)
We’re all familiar with the film cliche of the little band of soldiers who in ordinary life never would have had met, but who learn to appreciate each other in the battles of World War II. All white, of course: African Americans would have to wait till the integration of... Read More
Karen Petrone, “The Great War in Russian Memory” (Indiana UP, 2012)
Historical studies on the European memory of World War I are, to put it mildly, voluminous. There are too many monographs to count on a myriad of subjects addressing the acts of remembrance and commemoration of the so-called war to end all wars. But when it comes to Russia, from... Read More
Stephen White, “Understanding Russian Politics” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
Stephen White‘s Understanding Russian Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2011) begins simply enough: “Russia is no longer the Soviet Union.” While this is a well-known fact, the details of Russia’s postcommunist transition — the emergence of a party system and presidential government, as well as the dismantling of the planned economy... Read More
Francis Spufford, “Red Plenty: Industry! Progress! Abundance! Inside the Fifties Soviet Dream” (Greywolf Press, 2012)
Historians are not supposed to make stuff up. If it happened, and can be proved to have happened, then it’s in; if it didn’t, or can’t be documented, then it’s out. This way of going about writing history is fine as far as it goes. It does, however, have a... Read More