The Russia Reader: History, Culture, Politics aims to capture its subject as not merely a place, but also as a set of ideas to shed light on what Russia was under both the tsars and Soviet rule and what it is today.
Edited by Adele Barker, a professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at the University of Arizona, and Bruce Grant, an associate professor of anthropology at New York University, The Russia Reader incorporates song lyrics, jokes, anecdotes, and folktales as well as poems, essays, and fiction by writers including Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoi, and Akhmatova. It also includes an account of the day-to-day scramble to make ends meet after the end of the Soviet Union, letters recording ordinary Russians’ reactions to the Revolution as events unfolded in 1917, and transcripts from the show trials of major Communist Party figures.
With these and other selections, The Russia Reader serves as an introduction to the history, culture, and politics of the world’s largest country, from the earliest written accounts of the Russian people to today. The work conveys the texture of everyday life alongside experiences of epic historical events through the voices of men and women, rulers and revolutionaries, peasants, soldiers, literary figures, émigrés, journalists, and scholars. Most of the selections are by Russians; thirty are translated into English for the first time.
Barker is the editor of Consuming Russia: Popular Culture, Sex, and Society since Gorbachev; co-editor of The History of Women’s Writing in Russia; and author of Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka. Grant has also authored The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus and In the Soviet House of Culture: A Century of Perestroikas.
Reporters wishing to speak with Grant should contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or email@example.com. For review copies, contact Laura Sell, Duke University Press, at 919.687.3639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.