Category: Premature Evaluation

May 12 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine — Halftime Report

One of the unexpected pleasures of The House of Government is Yuri Slezkine’s occasional playful way with words. Given the subject matter, and particularly given Slezkine’s argument that Bolshevism can best be understood as a millennarian sect that gained control of the state, a reader would be forgiven for thinking that his prose would range …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/05/12/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-halftime-report/

Feb 13 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

When it was built, the House of Government — maybe better known in English as the House on the Embankment thanks to the book by Yuri Trefonov — was the largest residential building in Europe. With The House of Government, Yuri Slezkine gives the building, its people and its first era an equally enormous treatment. The main …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/13/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine/

Jul 02 2017

China Among Equals edited by Morris Rossabi

“Of interest mainly to specialists” is one of those phrases that reviewers often use to suggest, however gently, that a book is terribly dull and that no one outside of a select audience should read it. With a subtitle that reads The Middle Kingdom and its Neighbors, 10th-14th Centuries, China Among Equals is clearly aimed …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/07/02/china-among-equals-edited-by-morris-rossabi/

Jul 29 2015

Romanticism and Positivism – The History of Polish Literature by Czeslaw Milosz

What could Polish literature do after Pan Tadeusz, a poem that Milosz said, “gradually won recognition as the highest achievement in all Polish literature”? For starters, literary eminence was contested by Mickiewicz’s contemporaries. “Besides his unrequited love, the other passion running through [Juliusz] Słowacki’s life was his desire first to equal, then to compete with, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/07/29/romanticism-and-positivism-the-history-of-polish-literature-by-czeslaw-milosz/

Jun 24 2015

More concerning The History of Polish Literature by Czeslaw Milosz

I thought that the next bit I wrote here would be about something lighter, or at least something fictional, but Milosz has well and truly grabbed and held my attention. The middle section that I have just finished, particularly the nearly 100 pages (out of 530 in the main text) Milosz devotes to Polish Romanticism, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/06/24/more-concerning-the-history-of-polish-literature-by-czeslaw-milosz/

Jun 18 2015

The History of Polish Literature by Czeslaw Milosz

Every literature should be so fortunate as to have a Nobel laureate write a textbook history of its development. The only down side I can see to The History of Polish Literature — so far, that is, I am up to the middle of the 18th century, although that’s just a little less than the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/06/18/the-history-of-polish-literature-by-czeslaw-milosz/

Feb 03 2015

Premature Evaluation: Mussolini’s Italy by R.J.B. Bosworth

I suppose it would be smart to wait until I got to the part where Italy can properly be said to be Mussolini’s before writing about a book called Mussolini’s Italy, but my progress through this volume has been so slow — “deliberate” would be a kinder word, if less accurate — that I might …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/02/03/premature-evaluation-mussolinis-italy-by-r-j-b-bosworth/

Nov 26 2014

Premature Evaluation: Finding Poland by Matthew Kelly

The first chapters of this book are giving me a case of the Yabbuts. Finding Poland is mostly a family chronicle, concerning Matthew Kelly’s great-grandmother and her two daughters, and how they went from pre-WWII eastern Poland to later life in the United Kingdom. By way of Kazakhstan, Iran and India. To get to why …

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Oct 25 2014

Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch Book 2) by Ann Leckie

This book is the long-awaited sequel to Ancillary Justice, and it did not disappoint. I read the first book and then the newly released sequel, so that I could keep everything in my head straight. It was wonderful. So wonderful that I didn’t want the story to stop and when it did, and I realized …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/10/25/ancillary-sword-imperial-radch-book-2-by-ann-leckie/

May 05 2011

Premature Evaluation: Yalta by S.M. Plokhy

Did FDR give away too much at Yalta? Was Churchill sketching out percentages of influence in Eastern and Southeastern Europe with Stalin? How far did Stalin’s plans for annexations run? And was the Cold War inevitable? In Yalta: The Price of Peace, S.M. Plokhy goes to the literature and the archives with these questions, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2011/05/05/premature-evaluation-yalta-by-s-m-plokhy/