Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin - Catherine Merridale

There is perhaps no other national symbol as closely associated with its country as the Kremlin. In Red Fortress, Catherine Merridale attempts not just to trace the Kremlin's history, but to present it as a stage for the entirety of Russian history. Thus the story of a fort on a hill becomes a sweeping narrative that covers many cultures and steps outside Russian borders. Merridale is an impeccable scholar and a persistent researcher; she scoured archives and libraries both in Russia and in the West for material and interviewed diplomats, politicians, art historians, restorers, and architects. This wealth of material is presented via engrossing and clear prose that perfectly captures the spirit of this 'magnificent and lethal' landmark.

Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin By Catherine Merridale Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250056146
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - November 4th, 2014

Plutopia - Kate Brown

Brown’s excellent and shocking social history of the Cold War looks at two communities that epitomize the era. Richland, site of the Hanford plant in Washington state, and Ozersk, its Soviet twin, were both dedicated to producing plutonium. Both were restricted zones; Richland, on the side of freedom, was a company town supported by huge federal subsidies. It had no local newspaper and little dissent. Ozersk was an oasis of plenty in the Soviet desert of consumer goods, the abundance meant to discourage questions and keep specialized engineers on the job. Radiation exposure was severe and constant for residents of both places, with similar rates of illness, birth defects, and official lies. Brown uncovers instance after instance of lax (or nonexistent) safety standards and releases of radioactivity - accidental and intentional; today, the areas are rivals for title of most radioactive place on Earth. While the two superpowers never unleashed atomic weapons against each other, the nuclear arms race left plenty of devastation in its wake.

Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters By Kate Brown Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780199855766
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - April 5th, 2013

Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters By Kate Brown Cover Image
$23.99
ISBN: 9780190233105
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - August 1st, 2015

The Whisperers - Orlando Figes

The Whisperers begins with the Revolution of 1917 and moves on beyond Stalin’s death and even past the collapse of the USSR, describing experiences of several families affected by the Soviet regime’s policies. Figes shows how living in a regime that turns on its own people can poison one’s psyche and family relations for generations. It makes for a difficult and heartbreaking reading at times, but the book is impressively well-researched (with hundreds of interviews) and is a must-read for anyone interested in the USSR history.

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