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Russian Exceptionalism According to Boris Dubin
October 15, 2014

Russian Exceptionalism According to Boris Dubin

By Eugenia Sokolskaya

A social state, a sense of community and shared decision making, an oddly distant government, home-grown values, and being split between Europe and Asia – according to Russians, this is what makes Russia special. But Boris Dubin's findings show that what really makes Russia special is Russia's ability to pretend no one else exists.

What the Bleep is Going on in Sochi?
February 07, 2014

What the Bleep is Going on in Sochi?

By Paul E. Richardson

Why is it that the Twitter hashtag #sochiproblems has more followers than the Twitter feed for the games? How is it that all we hear from the Western press is negativism, while from the athletes and local observers there are only raves for the fantastic facilities? Why do pictures of double toilets and unfinished hotels continue to flood the inter-tubes? And what idiot gave the order to kill puppies in Sochi?

Why Don't Russians Smile?
January 10, 2014

Why Don't Russians Smile?

By The Editors

It is a common trope that Russians never smile. Which of course is interpreted to mean they are unfriendly, gloomy, sullen – positively Dostoyevskian. This, of course, is a complete misreading of body language and cultural norms.

Happy 158th Uncle Gilya!
November 26, 2013

Happy 158th Uncle Gilya!

The first-ever English version of Uncle Gilya’s masterpiece, Moscow and Muscovites, translated by Brendan Kiernan and published by Russian Life Books, debuts today. It’s our way of saying “Happy Birthday” to Uncle Gilya (today is his 158th!). English-language readers around the globe win as well – this translation is at least 90 years overdue!

Moscow and Muscovites
November 26, 2013

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 

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