779 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Russia and Eurasia about their New Books
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New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies Marshall Poe

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 35 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Russia and Eurasia about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/russian-studies

    Michael Kimmage, "Collisions: The Origins of the War in Ukraine and the New Global Instability" (Oxford UP, 2024)

    Michael Kimmage, "Collisions: The Origins of the War in Ukraine and the New Global Instability" (Oxford UP, 2024)

    One war, three collisions: Russia with Ukraine, Europe, and the US. On the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion, Michael Kimmage analyses the disparate factors that led to war in Collisions: The Origins of the War in Ukraine and the New Global Instability (OUP Press, 2024).
    "After a few anomalous years of peace, Europe became in 2022 what it has always been, an epicentre of conflict, the fault line around which the biggest and worst geopolitical earthquakes tend to occur".
    A member of the Secretary's Policy Planning Staff at the US State Department where he handled the Ukraine/Russia portfolio from 2014-2016, Michael Kimmage is now a Professor of History at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC.
    *The authors' book recommendations are Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan (Random House, 2002) and The Russo-Ukrainian War by Serhii Plokhy (Allen Lane, 2023).
    Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors, who also writes the twenty4two newsletter on Substack and hosts the In The Room podcast series.
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    • 43 min
    Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper, "Post-Imperial Possibilities: Eurasia, Eurafrica, Afroasia" (Princeton UP, 2023)

    Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper, "Post-Imperial Possibilities: Eurasia, Eurafrica, Afroasia" (Princeton UP, 2023)

    How can territory and peoples be organized? After the dissolution of empires, was the nation-state the only way to unite people politically, culturally, and economically? 
    In Post-Imperial Possibilities: Eurasia, Eurafrica, Afroasia (Princeton UP, 2023), historians Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper examine three large-scale, transcontinental projects aimed at bringing together peoples of different regions to mitigate imperial legacies of inequality. Eurasia, Eurafrica, and Afroasia—in theory if not in practice—offered alternative routes out of empire. The theory of Eurasianism was developed after the collapse of imperial Russia by exiled intellectuals alienated by both Western imperialism and communism. Eurafrica began as a design for collaborative European exploitation of Africa but was transformed in the 1940s and 1950s into a project to include France’s African territories in plans for European integration. The Afroasian movement wanted to replace the vertical relationship of colonizer and colonized with a horizontal relationship among former colonial territories that could challenge both the communist and capitalist worlds. Both Eurafrica and Afroasia floundered, victims of old and new vested interests. But Eurasia revived in the 1990s, when Russian intellectuals turned the theory’s attack on Western hegemony into a recipe for the restoration of Russian imperial power. While both the system of purportedly sovereign states and the concentrated might of large economic and political institutions continue to frustrate projects to overcome inequities in welfare and power, Burbank and Cooper‘s study of political imagination explores wide-ranging concepts of social affiliation and obligation that emerged after empire and the reasons for their unlike destinies.
    This is Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper second major scholarly collaboration. They previously co-authored Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference (Princeton University Press, 2010).
    Frederick Cooper is Professor Emeritus of History at New York University. His research has focused on 20th-century Africa, empires, colonization and decolonization, and citizenship. Among his books are Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History (2005); Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945-1960 (2014); Africa in the World: Capitalism, Empire, Nation-State (2014); Citizenship, Inequality, and Difference: Historical Perspectives (2018); and Africa since 1940: The Past of the Present (2nd ed., 2019).
    Jane Burbank is Professor Emerita, New York University. Her areas of research are Russian political culture, law, and empire. Her works include Intelligentsia and Revolution: Russian Views of Bolshevism, 1917-1922 (1986); Russian Peasants Go to Court: Legal Culture in the Countryside, 1905-1917 (2004); Imperial Russia: New Histories for the Empire, edited with David L. Ransel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998); Russian Empire: Space, People, Power, 1700-1930, edited with Mark von Hagen and Anatolyi Remnev (2007).
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    • 1 hr 13 min
    Rachel Applebaum, "Empire of Friends: Soviet Power and Socialist Internationalism in Cold War Czechoslovakia" (Cornell UP, 2019)

    Rachel Applebaum, "Empire of Friends: Soviet Power and Socialist Internationalism in Cold War Czechoslovakia" (Cornell UP, 2019)

    The familiar story of Soviet power in Cold War Eastern Europe focuses on political repression and military force. But in Empire of Friends: Soviet Power and Socialist Internationalism in Cold War Czechoslovakia (Cornell University Press, 2019), Rachel Applebaum shows how the Soviet Union simultaneously promoted a policy of transnational friendship with its Eastern Bloc satellites to create a cohesive socialist world. This friendship project resulted in a new type of imperial control based on cross-border contacts between ordinary citizens. In a new and fascinating story of cultural diplomacy, interpersonal relations, and the trade of consumer-goods, Applebaum tracks the rise and fall of the friendship project in Czechoslovakia, as the country evolved after World War II from the Soviet Union's most loyal satellite to its most rebellious.
    Throughout Eastern Europe, the friendship project shaped the most intimate aspects of people's lives, influencing everything from what they wore to where they traveled to whom they married. Applebaum argues that in Czechoslovakia, socialist friendship was surprisingly durable, capable of surviving the ravages of Stalinism and the Soviet invasion that crushed the 1968 Prague Spring. Eventually, the project became so successful that it undermined the very alliance it was designed to support: as Soviets and Czechoslovaks got to know one another, they discovered important cultural and political differences that contradicted propaganda about a cohesive socialist world. Empire of Friends reveals that the sphere of everyday life was central to the construction of the transnational socialist system in Eastern Europe―and, ultimately, its collapse.
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    • 1 hr 20 min
    Gregory Wallance, "Into Siberia: George Kennan's Epic Journey Through the Brutal, Frozen Heart of Russia" (St. Martin's Press, 2023)

    Gregory Wallance, "Into Siberia: George Kennan's Epic Journey Through the Brutal, Frozen Heart of Russia" (St. Martin's Press, 2023)

    It’s perhaps one of history’s funny accidents that relations between the U.S. and Russia were changed not by one, but two, George Kennans. Decades before George F. Kennan wrote his famous Long Telegram that set the tone for the Cold War, his predecessor was exploring Russia’s Far East on a quest to investigate the then-Russian Empire’s practice of exiling political prisoners to Siberia.
    What Kennan saw on his journey shook him to his very core, forcing him to question his respect for the Russian Empire. And as writer Gregory Wallance explains in his book Into Siberia: George Kennan’s Epic Journey Through the Brutal, Frozen Heart of Russia (St. Martin's Press, 2023), Kennan’s advocacy upon his return turned U.S. views from Russia away from being a faraway friend to something far more skeptical.
    Gregory Wallance is a lawyer and writer in New York City. He is the author of Papa's Game (Ballantine Books: 1982) which received a nonfiction nomination for an Edgar Allan Poe Award; America's Soul In the Balance: The Holocaust, FDR's State Department, And The Moral Disgrace Of An American Aristocracy (Greenleaf Book Group: 2012), The Woman Who Fought an Empire: Sarah Aaronsohn and Her Nili Spy Ring (Potomac Books: 2018), and the historical novel Two Men Before the Storm: Arba Crane's Recollection of Dred Scott And the Supreme Court Case That Started the Civil War (Greenleaf Book Group: 2015). He is currently an opinion contributor for The Hill.
    Today, Gregory and I talk about Kennan, his many trips to Siberia, and the effect his journalism had on American views of Russia.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Into Siberia. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is an editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon
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    • 54 min
    Putin's Exiles: Their Fight for a Better Russia

    Putin's Exiles: Their Fight for a Better Russia

    Since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, some one million Russians have fled the country and gone into exile. Motivated by opposition to the war, by guilt for their country's deeds, by personal hatred for the Czar-like Putin, and by a vision of a better Russia, shorn of autocracy, the exiles have mounted an organized resistance to Putin's rule.
    The resistance includes followers of the imprisoned Putin opponent Alexi Navalny, dissident Russian Orthodox priests, and journalists feeding Russians back home the kind of coverage that Kremlin-controlled media censors. Most aggressively, some exiles are actively aiding the Ukrainian fight against Russia's armed forces in hopes of hastening Russia's defeat and Putin's demise.
    Paul Starobin, a veteran analyst of Russia, travels to places like Armenia and Georgia to meet with exiles and has conversations with prominent figures throughout Europe and America, as he takes measure of this rebellion--and its potential to fix a nation plagued by revanchist imperial dreams.
    Putin's Exiles: Their Fight for a Better Russia (Columbia Global Reports, is an indispensable work for anyone trying to understand Russia today--to go beyond Putin's propaganda and the tightly controlled narrative inside the country, and look outside its borders to the diaspora of Russian exiles, who are imagining and fighting for the future of their country.
    Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com.
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    • 50 min
    Serhiy Bilenky, "Laboratory of Modernity: Ukraine Between Empire and Nation, 1772-1914" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2023)

    Serhiy Bilenky, "Laboratory of Modernity: Ukraine Between Empire and Nation, 1772-1914" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2023)

    When the powers of Europe were at their prime, present-day Ukraine was divided between the Austrian and Russian empires, each imposing different political, social, and cultural models on its subjects. This inevitably led to great diversity in the lives of its inhabitants, shaping modern Ukraine into the multiethnic country it is today. 
    Making innovative use of methods of social and cultural history, gender studies, literary theory, and sociology, Laboratory of Modernity: Ukraine Between Empire and Nation, 1772-1914 (McGill-Queen's UP, 2023) explores the history of Ukraine throughout the long nineteenth century and offers a unique study of its pluralistic society, culture, and political scene. Despite being subjected to different and conflicting power models during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Ukraine was not only imagined as a distinct entity with a unique culture and history but was also realized as a set of social and political institutions. The story of modern Ukraine is geopolitically complex, encompassing the historical narratives of several major communities - including ethnic Ukrainians, Poles, Jews, and Russians - who for centuries lived side by side. The first comprehensive study of nineteenth-century Ukraine in English, Laboratory of Modernity traces the historical origins of some of the most pressing issues facing Ukraine and the international community today.
    Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a Preceptor in Ukrainian at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University.
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    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

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Great content needs great equipment

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The Cold War, a world history

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