I'm looking for good books and documentaries on Russia. I took a course on this topic in college (starting with the fall of the Tsars, through the USSR, and finally into Putin's first presidency), and I found it fascinating—but this was a decade ago, and clearly things have changed. Recent events have inspired me to start reading in this area again; help me sort out the wheat from the chaff. [more inside]
Looking for a short story about a young girl with nuclear launch codes implanted in her chest who accompanies POTUS; the president will have to kill her and remove them if he wants to launch. [more inside]
Please can you recommend books similar to Bruno Schulz's, Isaac Babel's and Bulgakov's Master & Margarita? [more inside]
I just inherited literally a large garbage bag of wartime government documents, newspaper cutouts, photos and other memorabilia from Russia and Ukraine ca. 1910-1970. What do I do with the stuff I don't want, and also how do I fumigate it? [more inside]
My husband and I love pictures of old modern and brutalist weird architecture in Eastern Europe. We'd love to see it. But travel agents and tours focus on blue waters and quaint villages. Is there a "show me the concrete weirdness" travel option I'm missing for two people who don't like the traditional postcards, but both almost failed college Russian? [more inside]
What was the first message sent by the Soviet Union over the infamous 1960s "hotline"? [more inside]
I found these two mini-portfolios of two (Mir and Buran) Soviet space programs at a thrift store, but I'm having a little trouble figuring out where they're from. On the front they both have Russian words, but inside, the list of photographs is in English. Who was the audience? Are they souvenirs? If so, why English when it seems highly unlikely that english-speakers were touring Soviet space complexes in the Eighties? If you can tell me what the covers say, that might help clarify what these are. Propaganda, souvenirs, spy stuff? [more inside]
I'm re-reading Eon by Greg Bear which is starts set in the near future (around 2000) from when it was published. The US and the USSR are of course still very antagonistic. This made me wonder: is there much science fiction published in the 1980s where the author doesn't assume the Soviet Union still exists (or alternately, it still exists but the US and it are not antagonistic)? [more inside]
Looking for popular music with lyrics mentioning the Soviet Union. [more inside]
Does anyone remember a big pink-, blue-, and white-striped shopping bag popular in developing countries in the '80s/'90s? It felt like waxed straw, or something Tyvek-y. It had handles, and was often big enough to cover a whole suitcase. [more inside]
Ideas are more powerful than weapons. If we wouldn't let the enemy have weapons, why should we let him have ideas?
Where can I buy reasonably priced reproductions of these Soviet propaganda posters? [more inside]
Watching a JFK assassination documentary on cable has gotten me thinking. Given the extreme state of the Cold War in 1963 and Lee Harvey Oswald having lived in the Soviet Union and being connected to Communism, was there any kneejerk reaction among the American public/political hawks calling for direct retribution against the Soviet Union? Or efforts to sell the assassination to the public as a reason to do so. How did that national tragedy differ from/align with 9/11 in that respect?
Help me feed my obsession with all things Russia. [more inside]
What are the best English-language books about life in the Siberian gulag at the end of the 1930s?
Trying to remember a spy thriller film from the early 80s. [more inside]
I'm looking for high-school-appropriate resources about the Cuban Missile Crisis--particularly ones that highlight Cuban and Soviet perspectives or more of an IR approach. Any thoughts?
I recently received these antique postcards from a friend (with no explanation) and I'd like to know what exactly they are. They're of Soviet/Eastern European origin and seem to relate to radio somehow. [more inside]
I'm preparing for a massive personal archiving/interviewing trip with my grandparents and need advice regarding many aspects of the project. [more inside]
Help me teach myself about the current political and social climate in Russia. [more inside]
Need a movie id. I saw it in the 80's and the plot was that the U.S.S.R. had created an "Anytown, USA" and kidnapped some americans to populate it with to study/observe. I thought it was titled "Back in the U.S.S.R." but alas the one on IMDB is not it.
How do lawyers work in newly formed (or reformed) countries with new political systems, like Eastern Europe after the USSR, or Iraq or Timor-Leste today? [more inside]
Is it common for Americans to incorrectly assume that Russian is only spoken in Russia but forget that it is also a common language in the former Soviet states? [more inside]
Legal status of creative works from the USSR. [more inside]
A recording of a speech by Stalin, released on vinyl in the USSR, the 8th side of which consists entirely of applause: did it really exist, and does anyone know where I could track it down? [more inside]
Are there any serious scholars of Russian history who buy the "increased US military spending bankrupted the USSR" theory of the Soviet Union collapse? [more inside]
The UN Charter still lists "the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" as one of the permanent Security Council members. How was it decided that Russia alone would replace the USSR, and not some representative of all the ex-USSR nations? Was there a vote? Cause I can't find it.