New Books Network

Jonathan Weiler, “Human Rights in Russia: A Darker Side of Reform” (Lynne Rienner, 2004)
A new documentary by Robin Hessman “My Presteroika” portrays the lives of five individuals who, as children, were raised in the Soviet Union but who now live in post-Soviet society. The documentary describes the challenges they faced as they tried to survive in the new post-Soviet world. In many ways,... Read More
Charles King, “Odessa: Genius and Death in the City of Dreams” (W.W. Norton, 2011)
“Look up the street or down the street, this way or that way, we only saw America,” wrote Mark Twain to capture his visit to Odessa in 1867. In a way, it’s not too farfetched that Twain saw his homeland in the Black Sea port city. Odessa was very much... Read More
Louis Siegelbaum, “Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile” (Cornell UP, 2008)
A recent editorial in the Moscow Times declared that in Moscow “the car is king.” Indeed, one word Muscovites constantly mutter is probka (traffic jam). The boom in car ownership is transforming Russian life itself, and for some not necessarily for the better. “The joy of personal mobility — that... Read More
Daniel Treisman, “The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev” (Free Press, 2011)
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, journalists, academics, and policymakers have sought to make sense of post-Soviet Russia. Is Russia an emerging or retrograde democracy? A free-market or crony capitalism? Adopting Western values or forever steeped in Asiatic mores? Is Russia in transition, and if so, transition to what?... Read More
Maria Yatskova, “Miss Gulag” (Neihausen-Yatskova & Vodar Films, 2007)
In this episode of NBRES, we’re doing something a bit out of the ordinary. Instead of interviewing an author about his or her new book, we are going to talk to filmarkerMaria Yatskova about her documentary film, Miss Gulag (Neihausen-Yatskova & Vodar Films, 2007), on the women’s prison UF-91/9 in... Read More
Charles Emmerson, “The Future History of the Arctic: How Climate, Resources and Geopolitics are Reshaping the North, and Why it Matters to the World” (Vintage, 2010)
I don’t know how many young boys develop a fascination with the world from having a map of the world hung above their beds, but this certainly fits in with the experiences of both Charles Emmerson and myself. Charles’ interest in the Arctic was born from a childhood of staring... Read More
Douglas Rogers, “The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals” (Cornell UP, 2009)
What are ethics? What are morals? How are they constituted, practiced, and regulated? How do they change over time? My own research is informed by these question; so is Douglas Rogers‘. So it was only natural that I would be drawn to Rogers’ new book The Old Faith and the... Read More