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22 September 2018


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Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage

Albert Glinsky (University of Illinois Press, $24.95)

This superbly layered and minutely detailed biography of a very complex individual draws on a wide variety of documentary resources and interviews (including with Theremin himself) to present the most complete picture of the inventor’s life (and, indeed, a very thorough picture of the world in which he traveled, worked, spied and invented).

Glinsky is to be commended for mastering not only the intricacies of electronics and synthesizers, but also espionage, international relations, the Gulag, Kremlin politics and Soviet history. On top of that, it is just a very good read.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2012