July 01, 2018

Let's Create the New Russian Life Together


Let's Create the New Russian Life Together

Click-bait. Fake news. Sensationalism.

Online media is rife with problems, and, as a result, it largely gets Russia wrong, painting a uni-dimensional picture of corruption, mafia and dark arts that misrepresents the world’s largest country.

It’s sad, very sad. And dangerous.

We want to tackle this problem head on and we are uniquely positioned to do so.

A few recent back issues (click to see more)

A few recent back issues (click to see more)

For 23 years, we have been publishing Russian Life, the only truly independent, English language magazine on the world’s largest country.

While the mainstream media talks only of Russia’s mafia and matryoshkas, of Vladimir and vodka, we orient on Chekhov and centenarians, on language and literature, history and geography.

The nightly news likes cardboard-cutout, cartoonish views of Russia. We prefer a more nuanced, subtle approach that looks at the complexity of the place, at the unique, compelling stories it has to tell.

Does Russia have problems and flaws? Of course it does. Just like any other country or culture. And we don’t gloss over them. But instead of making them the be all and end all of our coverage, we put such issues into perspective, painting a multi-faceted portrait of this thousand-year-old land. 

We want to bring this same perspective and approach to the online media space. 

Our goal is to extend Russian Life’s publishing footprint, to make it the most interesting, authoritative online outlet on all things Russian. 

That is what our new Kickstarter is all about.

So what are we going to do?

  • First, we will completely revamping our website and online presence to make it mobile-first and easy to access and read on any device. 
  • Second, we will rebuild our database systems to make subscribing and renewing online a seamless and painless experience, enabling various combinations of digital and print subscriptions.
  • Third, we will put the entire 23 years of Russian Life online (available as part of a digital subscription). Thousands of articles will be at your fingertips for searching and retrieval.
  • Fourth, we will do the same with the current and future content of the print magazine, making it available online and readable on any device (no app required!), while adding online-only enhancements to articles. And print subscribers will be able to have a print/digital subscription for a modest additional fee.
  • Finally, we will supplement all of this with new, online-only content that uses the digital medium to its best effect. From videos and audio to travelogues, reviews, databases and interviews. We will also keep a close eye on the RuNet – the Russian-only internet – for you, regularly translating and sharing the most important and interesting information we find, just like we do with our popular weekly e-letter, The Weekly Russia File.
A first draft of our redesign

A first draft of our redesign

In the end, the depth and breadth of what we can achieve will depend on how successful this Kickstarter is and how popular the online site becomes.

But we think it is going to be huge. We think there is great pent-up demand for authentic, interesting, balanced information about Russia. And we want you to be a part of it. 

Together, we can create the New Russian Life… one that builds on what we have learned over the last 23 years with the print magazine… one that creates a Russian Life for the next generation – bridging the print and digital divide.

What do you get out of this?

Aside from a newly-enhanced, digital Russian Life platform, you mean? 

Well, by supporting our Kickstarter, you will essentially be pre-paying for a one-year online or print+online subscription, demonstrating to us and others that there is support to extend Russian Life in this new direction.

But you also will get some great, Kickstarter-only benefits.

Everyone who backs the project at the Diginaut or higher level will get an offset print (8x10 inches, full color) of the amazing original work of art, “Russian Seasons,” that Yekaterinburg artist Olga Ezova-Denisova is creating especially for this project. (More about Olga and this work in project updates to come.)

Olga at work...
Olga at work...

If you support the project at higher levels, you can also get one of the books we created in our previous Kickstarter projects.

Books we have kickstartered...
Books we have kickstartered...

At still higher levels you can get an original, numbered print of Olga’s artwork, and/or become an active advisor and participant in this new effort.

This is our dream: a dynamic, interesting publication that is as beautiful online as off, that bridges the digital-analog divide, letting readers choose how to receive Russian Life content, be it in through a mailbox by the side of the road, or via the internet superhighway (or both!). We are truly excited about this new development and I hope you will join us in taking Russian Life to the next level.

Paul Richardson 
Publisher 

 

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Some of Our Books

Tolstoy Bilingual

Tolstoy Bilingual

This compact, yet surprisingly broad look at the life and work of Tolstoy spans from one of his earliest stories to one of his last, looking at works that made him famous and others that made him notorious. 
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Moscow and Muscovites

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. 
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955