Elena Pedigo ClarkApr 19, 2023
Trauma and Truth
Teaching Russian Literature on the Chechen Wars
Academic Studies Press 2023
The collapse of the USSR was relatively bloodless. The Chechen Wars were not. A tiny nation on the edge of Russia, Chechnya brought one of the largest armies in the world to its knees. Elena Pedigo Clark, Trauma and Truth: Teaching Russian Literature on the Chechen Wars (Academic Studies Press, 2023) examines significant works about these wars by some of Russia’s leading contemporary war authors, including Anna Politkovskaya, Arkady Babchenko, and Zakhar Prilepin. Combining close reading of the texts with descriptions of the authors’ social and political activities and suggestions on how to teach these challenging authors and texts, Trauma and Truth traces the psychological effects of the wars on their participants, and concludes with a discussion of what this means for Russia today.
Jeff Bachman is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC.