To Build a Castle


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TO BUILD A CASTLE.


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The Dissidents


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The nearly forgotten story of Soviet dissidents It has been nearly three decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union—enough time for the role that the courageous dissidents ultimately contributed to the communist system's collapse to have been largely forgotten, especially in the West. This book brings to life, for contemporary readers, the often underground work of the men and women who opposed the regime and authored dissident texts, known as samizdat, that exposed the tyrannies and weaknesses of the Soviet state both inside and outside the country. Peter Reddaway spent decades studying the Soviet Union and got to know these dissidents and their work, publicizing their writings in the West and helping some of them to escape the Soviet Union and settle abroad. In this memoir he captures the human costs of the repression that marked the Soviet state, focusing in particular on Pavel Litvinov, Larisa Bogoraz, General Petro Grigorenko, Anatoly Marchenko, Alexander Podrabinek, Vyacheslav Bakhmin, and Andrei Sinyavsky. His book describes their courage but also puts their work in the context of the power struggles in the Kremlin, where politicians competed with and even succeeded in ousting one another. Reddaway's book takes readers beyond Moscow, describing politics and dissident work in other major Russian cities as well as in the outlying republics.




Gulag Voices


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In this volume, the powerful voices of Gulag survivors become accessible to English-speaking audiences for the first time through oral histories, rather than written memoirs. It brings together interviews with men and women, members of the working class and intelligentsia, people who live in the major cities and those from the "provinces," and from an array of corrective hard labor camps and prisons across the former Soviet Union. Its aims are threefold: 1) to give a sense of the range of the Gulag experience and its consequences for Russian society; 2) to make the Gulag relevant to English-speaking readers by offering comparisons to historical catastrophes they are likely to know more about, such as the Holocaust; and 3) to discuss issues of oral history and memory in the cultural context of Soviet and post-Soviet society.




Petre Tutea


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Petre Tutea (1902-91) was one of the outstanding Christian dissident intellectuals of the Communist era in Eastern Europe. Revered as a saint by some, he spent thirteen years as a prisoner of conscience and twenty-eight years under house arrest at the hands of the Securitate. This book explores his unique response to the horrors of torture and 're-education' and reveals the experience of a whole generation detained in the political prisons. Tutea’s understanding of human needs and how they can be fulfilled even amidst extreme adversity not only reflects huge learning and great brilliance of mind, but also offers a spiritual vision grounded in personal experience of the Romanian Gulag. Following the fall of the Ceausescus, he has begun to emerge as a significant contributor to ecumenical Christian discourse and to understanding of wider issues of truth and reconciliation in the contemporary world. As Tutea's pupil and scribe for twelve years, as a psychiatrist, and as a theologian, Alexandru Popescu is uniquely placed to present the work of this twentieth-century Confessor of the faith. Drawing on bibliographical sources which include unpublished or censored manuscripts and personal conversations with Tutea and with other prisoners of conscience in Romania, Popescu presents extensive translations of Tutea, which make his thought accessible to the English-speaking reader for the first time. Through his stature as a human being and his authority as a thinker, Petre Tutea challenges us to question many of our assumptions. The choice he presents between ’sacrifice’ and ’moral suicide’ focuses us on the very essence of religion and human personhood. Resisting any ultimate separation of theology and spirituality, his work affirms hope and love as the sole ground upon which truth can be based. At the same time, hope and love are not mere ideal emotions, but are known and lived in engagement with the real world - in politics, economics, science, ecol




Harold Pinter


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Harold Pinter: A Question of Timing focuses on the ways in which Pinter conceives of and dramatises time according to the particular medium with which he is working. It goes beyond Pinter's obvious fascination with false and true memory to trace the various textual and non-textual strategies he employs to distort sequence and duration in his plays. Further, it shows how Pinter undermines the temporal assumptions of naturalism and realism to form a uniquely relativistic world in which time is a central feature.




Performing Peace and Friendship


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Performing Peace and Friendship tells the story of how the Soviet Union succeeded in utilizing the World Festival of Youth and Students in its cultural diplomacy from late Stalinism through the early Khrushchev period. Pia Koivunen discusses the evolution of the youth gathering into a Soviet cultural product starting from the first festival held in Prague in 1947 and ending with the Moscow 1957 gathering, the latter becoming one of the most frequently referred moments of Khrushchev’s Thaw. By combining both institutional and grass-roots’ perspectives, the book widens our understanding of what Soviet cultural diplomacy was in practice, re-evaluates the agency of young people and provides new insights into the Soviet role in the cultural Cold War. Koivunen argues that rather than simply being orchestrated rallies by the Kremlin bureaucrats, the World Youth Festivals also became significant spaces of transnational encounters for young people, who found ways to employ the event for overcoming the various restrictions and boundaries of the Cold War world.




We Are Jews Again


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Kosharovsky’s authoritative four-volume history of the Jewish movement in the Soviet Union is now available in a condensed and edited volume that makes this compelling insider’s account of Soviet Jewish activism after Stalin available to a wider audience. Originally published in Russian from 2008 to 2012, “We Are Jews Again” chronicles the struggles of Jews who wanted nothing more than the freedom to learn Hebrew, the ability to provide a Jewish education for their children, and the right to immigrate to Israel. Through dozens of interviews with former refuseniks and famous activists, Kosharovsky provides a vivid and intimate view of the Jewish movement and a detailed account of the persecution many faced from Soviet authorities.




Living Soviet in Ukraine from Stalin to Maidan


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What the world is now witnessing in Ukraine is the cumulative effect of history and memory in the lives of the people of the region—and this book directly addresses those subjects. Although the majority of scholarship on the Soviet Union focuses on top-level political and intellectual elites, these groups were only tiny minorities. What was life like for the rest of society? What was it like for the vast population that usually supported the regime, mostly accepted the rules, essentially internalized the ideology, and generally made the same choices as their neighbors and friends? What was it like to live Soviet as the USSR hit its peak as a superpower and then fell apart? What was it like to live Soviet in Ukraine in the decade after independence? This book answers those questions. It is an oral history of a group of military colonels and their wives, children, and contemporaries, covering their lives from childhood to the present. During this period, these military families went from comfortable economic circumstances, professional prestige, and political influence as part of the Soviet upper stratum, to destitution and disgrace in the 1990s. Today, many of them are part of Europe’s largest ethnic minority—Russians in Ukraine. The geographic focus is Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Europe’s second-largest country, a Russian-speaking city in eastern Ukraine. Based on 3,000+ pages of interview transcripts and supplemented with materials gleaned from unprecedented access to personal, family, and institutional archives, the book investigates how families endured shifting social, cultural, and political realities. By analyzing the lives of individuals in context, Westrate provides insights at the grassroots level. He reveals how ideological, professional, gender, ethnic, and national imperatives—as developed and transmitted by elites—were internalized, transformed, or rejected by the rank and file. He reveals how the subjective identities of individuals and small groups developed and changed over time, and how that process relates to the parallel projects pursued by the leaders of their countries. In the process, he shows what those experiences have to offer the study of Soviet, post-Soviet, and transnational history, bridging the boundaries created by the collapse of the USSR and exploring the foundations of both twenty-first-century Ukraine and today’s conflicts.




Rulers and Victims


Book Description

Many westerners used to call the Soviet Union "Russia." Russians too regarded it as their country, but that did not mean they were entirely happy with it. In the end, in fact, Russia actually destroyed the Soviet Union. How did this happen, and what kind of Russia emerged? In this illuminating book, Geoffrey Hosking explores what the Soviet experience meant for Russians. One of the keys lies in messianism--the idea rooted in Russian Orthodoxy that the Russians were a "chosen people." The communists reshaped this notion into messianic socialism, in which the Soviet order would lead the world in a new direction. Neither vision, however, fit the "community spirit" of the Russian people, and the resulting clash defined the Soviet world. Hosking analyzes how the Soviet state molded Russian identity, beginning with the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution and civil war. He discusses the severe dislocations resulting from collectivization and industrialization; the relationship between ethnic Russians and other Soviet peoples; the dramatic effects of World War II on ideas of homeland and patriotism; the separation of "Russian" and "Soviet" culture; leadership and the cult of personality; and the importance of technology in the Soviet world view. At the heart of this penetrating work is the fundamental question of what happens to a people who place their nationhood at the service of empire. There is no surer guide than Geoffrey Hosking to reveal the historical forces forging Russian identity in the post-communist world.