Category: History

Dec 24 2018

Don Karlos by Friedrich Schiller

The first thing to note about Don Karlos is that I noped right out of it somewhere in the middle of the second act. My disbelief had wavered early on when Don Karlos, the crown prince of Spain, unburdens his soul to his childhood friend the Marquis of Posa. Karlos (Carl in English) says he …

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Dec 21 2018

The Willow By Your Side by Peter Haynes

A few years ago, I bought a boxed set of Susan Cooper’s The Darkness Rising series, eager for the nostalgia of English children fighting evil, mythical forces in semi-allegory for real world conflicts. It was, sadly, a disappointing experience because, as an adult, the stories are frightfully simplistic in a way that they weren’t to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/21/the-willow-by-your-side-by-peter-haynes/

Dec 20 2018

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Two years and some-odd weeks ago, Donald Fucking Trump — aided by the Russian government along with its witting and unwitting stooges, boosted by an FBI director he soon fired, slavered over by a national press that apparently couldn’t help itself any more than it could help spending more time on his opponent’s e-mail practices …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/20/what-happened-by-hillary-rodham-clinton-2/

Dec 17 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

The first half of The House of Government located the Bolshevik party within a specifically Russian tradition of millennarianism. Revolutionary socialism would redeem the world, starting with Russia, and usher in a new era, a time of plenty, a time of the perfectibility of humanity. The second half of the book details what life is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/17/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-2/

Dec 16 2018

Night of Stone by Catherine Merridale

Night of Stone is a book for deep and dark December, and an amazing work of history. Carrying the subtitle “Death and Memory in Russia,” it focuses on the twentieth century, when there was more than enough of the first, and the second existed under the particular pressures of the Bolshevik revolution and Soviet governance. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/16/night-of-stone-by-catherine-merridale-2/

Dec 02 2018

Night of Stone by Catherine Merridale

“We made the journey in 1997, at the end of October. The winter had set in early that year, and even St Petersburg had its first covering of snow. Outside the city, and especially as we travelled north, the snow had taken over the landscape completely, levelling the gentle contours of the forest floor and …

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Nov 29 2018

Maria Stuart by Friedrich Schiller

“Will no one rid me of this turbulent queen?” is something that Elizabeth I of England does not ever quite say in Schiller’s five-act verse drama, Maria Stuart, but the sentiment lurks behind practically everything that she does say. The play begins with Mary, Queen of Scots, under house arrest in Fotheringhay, the place that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/11/29/maria-stuart-by-friedrich-schiller/

Oct 23 2018

Bless Me, Father by Neil Boyd

Bless Me, Father turned out to be just the thing for an autumn weekend afternoon. It’s short, light, breezily written and genuinely funny in places, which I hadn’t entirely expected — despite the recommendation that landed it in my set of books to read — from a book published forty years ago about events twenty years …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/23/bless-me-father-by-neil-boyd/

Oct 21 2018

Soviet Mass Festivals, 1917-1991 by Malte Rolf

Every now and then, I like to read a book that is of interest mainly to specialists. Malte Rolf’s work uses the parades and other mass events in the Soviet Union as a lens for examining how that society developed over the course of its existence. Celebrations reveal a great deal about a society — what …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/21/soviet-mass-festivals-1917-1991-by-malte-rolf/

Oct 14 2018

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It often happens that the very best books are hardest to write about. I discovered TNC’s blog fairly early in his tenure at The Atlantic, and I made sure to keep coming back. Time zones — I lived in the South Caucasus at the time, even further from US schedules — meant that I missed much of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/10/14/we-were-eight-years-in-power-by-ta-nehisi-coates/