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Beginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St. Petersburg and culminating with the Soviet regime, Figes examines how writers, artists, and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself—its character, spiritual essence, and destiny. Skillfully interweaving the great works—by Dostoevsky, Stravinsky, and Chagall—with folk embroidery, peasant songs, religious icons, and all the customs of daily life, Figes reveals the spirit of "Russianness" as rich and uplifting, complex and contradictory—and more lasting than any Russian ruler or state.
"Stunning and ambitious. . .Figes captures nothing less than Russians' complex and protean notions regarding their national identity." —The Atlantic Monthly
“Staggering. . .A vivid, entertaining, and enlightening account of what it has meant to be culturally a Russian over the last three centuries." —Los Angeles Times
"[A] masterly work." —New York Review of Books
"A big, bold, interpretative cultural history." —Foreign Affairs
Orlando Figes is the author of A People's Tragedy and the recipient of the Wolfson Prize for History and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among others. A regular contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Times Literary Supplement, he is a professor of history at the University of London. He lives in Cambridge, England.
|List of Illustrations and Photographic Acknowledgements|
|Notes on the Maps and Text|
|2||Children of 1812||69|
|4||The Peasant Marriage||217|
|5||In Search of the Russian Soul||289|
|6||Descendants of Genghiz Khan||355|
|7||Russia Through the Soviet Lens||431|
|Table of Chronology||646|
|A Guide to Further Reading||661|
Posted February 1, 2004
Being Russian and have been living and studying in the West for the last ten years,I have read numerous books on and about Russia (written by non-Russian writers), and was very dissapointed eighther by very little knowledge or complete ignorance toward Russia. When I came across the 'Natasha's Dance' I was absolutely sweapt away by Mr. Fige's Russia, the country's cultural survey and its wide-ranging identity! It is the most extraordinary book written about Russia by non-Russian writer. Magnificent book!!! Awesome and truthfull accountant of Russian culture through the centuries. If you want to learn something about Russia - read this breathtaking book.
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Posted June 15, 2010
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