The Russian Revolution as Past Made Present

Mikhail Zygar’s The Empire Must Die provides a narrative timeline for the Russian Revolution as an allegory for Russia’s present.

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The Materiality of Russian Oil

I review Doug Rogers’ deconstruction of oil—not to uncover its relations of production—to trace the dispersion of its value in shaping the post-Soviet province of Perm.

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Navalny and the Left

A response to the responses to the Navalny question and the Russian Left.

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Politkovskaya Ten Years On

It’s been ten years since an assassin put four bullets in Anna Politkovskaya—three in her chest, one in her head, the hallmark of a contract hit. And what can be said on this macabre anniversary?

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The Mitki Art Collective

Guest: Alexandar Mihailovic on The Mitki: The Art of Postmodern Protest in Russia published by University of Wisconsin Press.


William C. Bullitt in the USSR

Guest: Alexander Etkind on Roads not Taken: An Intellectual Biography of William C. Bullitt published by Pittsburgh University Press.


Russia’s Long Hangover

Guest: Shaun Walker on The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past published by Oxford University Press.


Boris Savinkov and Russian Terrorism

Guest: Irina Meier on Boris Savinkov and Russian revolutionary terrorism.

The Stalinist Film Industry

Guest: Maria Belodubrovskaya on Not According to Plan: Filmmaking under Stalin published by Cornell University Press.


Life and Times of Vladimir Dzhunkovsky

Guest: Richard Robbins on Overtaken by the Night: One Russian’s Journey through Peace, War, Revolution, and Terror published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Soviet Jokes Under Stalin

Guest: Jon Waterlow on Soviet jokes under Stalin.


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