John McCannon

May 3, 2023

Nicholas Roerich

The Artist Who Would Be King

University of Pittsburgh Press 2022

Dr. John McCannon's new biography of Russian artist, mystic, and all-around fascinating character Nicholas Roerich follows its subject from his artistic beginnings in the 1880's to the end of his life in India, in the 1940's. While not generally a household name in the English-speaking world, Roerich's influence punches over its weight. Roerich worked on the Rite of Spring, with Stravinsky, attempted to create a pan-Buddhist state in Asia, and may have influenced the outcome of a U.S. presidential election. All this and more, makes Roerich a wonderful character for a biography, and Nicholas Roerich: The Artist Who Would Be King (U Pittsburgh Press, 2023) brings out that character, in all its engaging and sometimes maddening complexity.

Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western, in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.

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Aaron Weinacht

Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.

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