One of the great works of modern historical writing, the classic account of the ideas, people, and politics that led to the Bolshevik Revolution Edmund Wilson's To the Finland Station is intellectual history on a grand scale, full of romance, idealism, intrigue, and conspiracy, that traces the revolutionary ideas that shaped the modern world from the French Revolution up through Lenin's arrival at Finland Station in St. Petersburg in 1917. Fueled by Wilson's own passionate engagement with the ideas and politics at play, it is a lively and vivid, sweeping account of a singular idea—that it is possible to construct a society based on justice, equality, and freedom—gaining the power to change history. Vico, Michelet, Bakunin, and especially Marx—along with scores of other anarchists, socialists, nihilists, utopians, and more—all come to life in these pages. And in Wilson's telling, their stories and their ideas remain as alive, as provocative, as relevant now as they were in their own time.
From a highly distinguished author on the subject, this biography is an excellent scholarly introduction to one of the key figures of the Russian Revolution and post-Tsarist Russia. Not only does it make use of archive material made newly available in the glasnost and post-Soviet eras, it re-examines traditional sources as well, providing an original interpretation of Lenin's life and historical importance. Focal points of this study are: Lenin's revolutionary ascetic personality how he exploited culture, education and propaganda his relationship to Marxism his changing class analysis of Russia his 'populist' instincts. A prominent figure at the forefront of debates on the Russina revolution, Read makes sure that Lenin remains in his place as a highly influential and significant figure of the recent past.
A masterful introduction to and appreciation of sociology as a window into our world The culmination of a distinguished career, this fascinating exploration into the nature of human social life describes the field of sociology as a way of looking at the world rather than as a simple gathering of facts about it. Kai Erikson notes that sociologists look out at the same human scenes as poets, historians, economists, or any other observers of the vast social landscape spread out before them, but select different aspects of that vast panorama to focus on and attend to. Erikson’s lively and accessible volume considers how sociology became a field of study, and how it has turned its attention over time to new areas of study such as race and gender and what Erikson calls “social speciation.” This book provides readers with new ways of thinking about human culture and social life—an exhilarating sense of what the world looks like when viewed with a sociologist’s eye.
Lenin is a colossal figure whose influence on twentieth-century history cannot be underestimated. Robert Service has written a calmly authoritative biography on this seemingly unknowable figure. Making use of recently opened archives, he has been able to piece together the private as well as the public life, giving the first complete picture of Lenin. This biography simultaneously provides an account of one of the greatest turning points in modern history. Through the prism of Lenin's career, Service examines events such as the October Revolution and the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, the one-party state, economic modernisation, dictatorship, and the politics of inter-war Europe. In discovering the origins of the USSR, he casts light on the nature of the state and society which Lenin left behind and which have not entirely disappeared after the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991. 'Immensely scholarly but also vivid and readable. This is a splendid book, much the best that I have ever read about Lenin ...I was overwhelmed by the power and vividness of this portrait.' Dominic Lieven, Sunday Telegraph 'He has managed skilfully to depict the surreal life of an obsessive, brilliant and stubborn individual' Guardian 'Lenin's life was politics, but Service has succeeded in keeping Lenin the man in focus throughout . . . This book deserves a place among the best studies of one of the most fascinating figures in modern history' Harold Shukman, The Times
A ride on the edges of history, with all its unanticipated connections, from the 1963 March on Washington to the 1993 chaos of Yeltsin’s Russia. When an ex-CIA agent convinces a bumbling law student to write a term paper on international rights on the high seas, the student and his roommates in Washington wind up with the whole Soviet Embassy coming to dinner. This happened on August 10, 1963, and has never been marked in the history books. Out of this encounter spins a story of revenge, counterpoint, and rollicking foolishness, ending on a railroad platform by the Russian-Finnish border in September, 1993. The Russian Embassy Party follows its sort-of-ordinary people in a not-so-ordinary web through the edges of history (the set for ‘I Have a Dream,’ watching the fall of the Berlin Wall, revelations of the Katyn Forest Massacre, the last gasp failed Soviet coup of August 1991, stumbling attempts to shore up democracy in Yelstin’s Russia) until . . . Well, let’s say only that there is a good dose of history in the story, and a larger dose of realism in the minds, environments, and conversations of both American and Russian protagonists and supporting cast. At the same time, the echoes of the 1963 Russian Embassy Party itself (when the students behaved and talked like the late-adolescents they were) cut veins through the story, linking its participants in ways they realize, bit by bit, as adults.
Make the most of your time with The Rough Guide to St Petersburg, the ultimate guide to this beautiful city. The full-colour section introduces St Petersburg’s highlights, from world-class ballet and opera at the Mariinskiy Theatre to the gilded mosaics of the Church of the Saviour on the Blood. The guide takes a detailed look at Russian history, literature and cultural life with expert background on everything from the superlative art collection of the Hermitage and the city’s spectacular Imperial palaces to snowmobiling in Karelia. There are plenty of practical tips and information on all the best accommodation, transportation and restaurants and lively reviews of hundreds of shops, bars and clubs. Discover every corner of St. Petersburg with the clearest maps of any guide.