November/December 2009

Features in this Issue

Winter Holidays

A colorful mix of pagan and Christian traditions influenced 19th century rural Russian Zimniye Svyatki (Winter Holidays). While many of these traditions did not survive the 20th century, they nonetheless tell us much about Russian culture today.

Lighthouse Master

Where we visit a craggy outpost in the White Sea, meet a colorful lighthouse keeper and get a taste of real solitude and self-reliance.

Bolshoi Troubles

The massive reconstruction of Moscow's iconic Bolshoi Theater has been underway for four years and looks to stretch for another two. Some question if anything original will be left of the landmark when it finally reopens in 2011.

Tsarina Elizabeth

"Elizabeth couldn't take her eyes off herself," wrote historian Vasily Klyuchevsky. Indeed, Peter the Great's narcissistic granddaughter (born 300 years ago this month) was infamous for being a tyrannical fashionista.

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