362 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Russia and Eurasia about their New Books

New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 29 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Russia and Eurasia about their New Books

    Aubrey Menard, "Young Mongols: Forging Democracy in the Wild, Wild East" (PRH SEA, 2020)

    Aubrey Menard, "Young Mongols: Forging Democracy in the Wild, Wild East" (PRH SEA, 2020)

    Mongolia is sometimes seen as one of the few examples of a successful youth-led revolution, where a 1990 movement forced the Soviet-appointed Politburo to resign. In Young Mongols: Forging Democracy in the Wild, Wild East (Penguin Random House SEA: 2020), Aubrey Menard profiles many of today’s young activists in Mongolia, in a wide array of different areas like pollution, feminism, LGBT rights, and journalism.
    In this interview, we discuss several of the activists profiled in her book, as well as discuss the development of Mongolia's democracy. We talk about whether we can think about young Mongolians as a "generation", and whether the country's experience supports or challenges normal democratic theory. We also touch base on what's been happening in Mongolia since she published her book.
    Aubrey Menard is an expert on political transitions, elections and democracy, working on democracy and governance issues in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Central America and the United States. She lived in Mongolia as a Luce Scholar from 2015 to 2016. You can follow her on Twitter at @AubreyMenard.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, where you can find its review of Young Mongols. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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    • 43 min
    Tatiana Zhurzhenko, "War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

    Tatiana Zhurzhenko, "War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

    War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) analyzes the shaping of the commemorative space in the three post-Soviet countries that used to share commemorative practices and memorial space in general. For the reader outside of the Soviet space, “war,” which is mentioned in the title of the book, will most likely not evoke a specific historical event that the book, in fact, refers to—WWII. Moreover, for the contemporary, “non-Soviet” reader, the title will most likely refer to the present conflict between Russia and Ukraine. For readers, who are well familiar with Soviets’ past, the book will signal, first and foremost, the Second World War, the event which occupies an extensive memorial space for the majority of the post-Soviet countries and their peoples. The editors and the contributors of War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus analyze how the memory of the war shapes the historical, political, and cultural dimensions of the three countries. While during the USSR, this memory was shared by the Soviet republics, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, each of these republics appeared to undertake their own trajectories in terms of integrating the war narratives and memory about them into their independent post-Soviet memorial programs.
    The book nuances the mnemonic divergences that the three countries illustrate when they deal with how the Second World War can be and should be represented in commemorative practices of their nations. Interestingly, these divergencies are dictated to some extent by how each of these countries views their Soviet legacy. Russia presents itself as a main successor of the Soviet Union and this factor considerably shapes the way in which today’s Russia promotes the official historical narrative of WWII as one of the narratives that mobilizes and unites the Russians. While Belarus follows Russia’s steps in trying to use the war narrative to unite the Belarusians through the creation of some grand-narrative, Ukraine in many cases takes a different route. In Ukraine, there is an attempt to put the narrative and the memory of the Second World War not so much in the Soviet context, but in the European one. One of the signals in this regard is the adoption of the poppy flower emblem as a symbol of war remembrance. War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus delves into the complexities of memory politics, which help investigate the convergences and divergences of the memorial practices that the post-Soviet countries are currently engaging with.
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    • 48 min
    M. Wodziński and W. Spallek, "Historical Atlas of Hasidism" (Princeton UP, 2018)

    M. Wodziński and W. Spallek, "Historical Atlas of Hasidism" (Princeton UP, 2018)

    The Historical Atlas of Hasidism (Princeton UP, 2018) is the first cartographic reference book on one of the modern era’s most vibrant and important mystical movements. Featuring seventy-four large-format maps and a wealth of illustrations, charts, and tables, this one-of-a-kind atlas charts Hasidism’s emergence and expansion; its dynasties, courts, and prayer houses; its spread to the New World; the crisis of the two world wars and the Holocaust; and Hasidism’s remarkable postwar rebirth.
    This spatial history of a movement that has often been understood as aterritorial combines painstaking source work, cartographic skill, and inventive visualisations to create a masterful contribution to the history of Hasidism and the history of religion more broadly.
    Marcin Wodziński is Professor of Jewish History and Literature, and head of the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Wrocław (Poland).
    Waldemar Spallek is Assistant Professor of geographic information systems and cartography at the University of Wrocław (Poland).
    Luca Scholz is Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the University of Manchester (UK). His research focuses on European and spatial history. He tweets at @DrLucaScholz.
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    • 44 min
    Vadim Shneyder, "Russia's Capitalist Realism: Narrative Form and History in Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov" (Northwestern UP. 2020)

    Vadim Shneyder, "Russia's Capitalist Realism: Narrative Form and History in Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov" (Northwestern UP. 2020)

    Vadim Shneyder's new book, Russia's Capitalist Realism: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov (Northwestern, 2020) examines how the literary tradition that produced the great works of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Anton Chekhov responded to the dangers and possibilities posed by Russia's industrial revolution. During Russia's first tumultuous transition to capitalism, social problems became issues of literary form for writers trying to make sense of economic change. The new environments created by industry, such as giant factories and mills, demanded some kind of response from writers but defied all existing forms of language. Prepare yourself for an innovative perspective on Anna Karenina, The Idiot and other 19th-century Russian classics.
    Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. Trained as a historian of modern Russia, he is the author most recently of Getting Back to Business: Why Modern Portfolio Theory Fails Investors. You can follow him on Twitter @HistoryInvestor or at http://www.strategicdividendinvestor.com
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    • 40 min
    Julius Margolin, "Journey Into the Land of the Zeks and Back: A Memoir of the Gulag" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Julius Margolin, "Journey Into the Land of the Zeks and Back: A Memoir of the Gulag" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Julius Margolin was a Polish Jew caught between the twin 1939 invasions of Poland by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. He spent the years 1940-1945 in Soviet labor camps, finally returning to his family in Palestine, in 1946. In her book Journey Into the Land of the Zeks and Back (Oxford UP, 2020), Israeli scholar Stefani Hoffman has provided the English-speaking world with its first full translation of Margolin’s story, which reiterates the importance of individual human dignity, no matter the circumstances. 
    Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western, in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Ronald Grigor Suny, "Stalin: Passage to Revolution" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Ronald Grigor Suny, "Stalin: Passage to Revolution" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Ronald Suny’s recent biography of the young Stalin, Stalin: Passage to Revolution (Princeton UP, 2020) covers “Soso” Jughashvili’s life up to the 1917 Revolution. Suny provides a wealth of detail as to the young Stalin’s life, and he embeds that life story in the broader story of Bolshevism. The Stalin that emerges from Suny’s portrait was skilled at navigating Party in-fighting an effective at speaking both to workers and to intellectuals. This biography does much make sense of the later Stalin, the perpetrator of the Purges. 
    Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.
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    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
29 Ratings

29 Ratings

dickmodel69 ,

Great content needs great equipment

Really interesting and insightful conversations but the quality of people calling in is very poor. It is sometimes very hard to follow along because of that.

SkipIntro ,

Audio Problems

I really want to like this podcast but the audio , especially the guests' is horrible. Tinny sound with screeches

slimvlady ,

The Cold War, a world history

Doesn’t anyone listen to this podcast before you post them? The sound quality was horrible. The subject matter was interesting enough to keep me listening until I couldn’t stand to listen any longer. The interviewer sounded like he was in an echo chamber and the interviewee sounded like he was on a cell phone that kept going in and out of range. It sounds so amateur it’s hard to take you guys seriously. Try having a little pride in the quality of what you do. Perhaps your podcast would be more successful and you would even attract donations

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