Summer Reading Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$10.98
Sale Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Russia- Soviet Union

Molotov's Magic Lantern

by

Molotov's Magic Lantern Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Literature is everywhere, and Polonsky has a keen understanding that while Russians may not read much any longer, books remain a crucial aspect of the national character. Standing on the flattened plains of Taganrog, she says of Chekhov, who once lived there: "He learned about the horizon of time from looking into the lilac steppe distance." Polonsky may not be an academic, as Figes acidly suggested, but she certainly understands what books mean to the Russian people." Alexander Nazaryan, The New Republic (Read the entire The New Republic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When the British journalist Rachel Polonsky moves to Moscow, she discovers an apartment on Romanov Street that was once home to the Soviet elite. One of the most infamous neighbors was the ruthless apparatchik, Stalin's henchman, Vyacheslav Molotov, who was a participant in the collectivizations and the Great Purge — and also an ardent bibliophile. In what was formerly his apartment, Polonsky uncovers an extensive library and an old magic lanterntwo things that lead her on an extraordinary journey throughout Russia and ultimately renew her vision of the country and its people.

In Molotov's Magic Lantern, Polonsky visits the haunted cities and vivid landscapes of the books from Molotov's library: works by Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Akhmatova, and others, some of whom were sent to the Gulag by the very man who collected their books. With exceptional insight and beautiful prose, Polonsky writes about the longings and aspirations of these Russian writers and others in the course of her travels from the Arctic to Siberia and from the forests around Moscow to the vast steppes. A singular homage to Russian history and culture, Molotov's Magic Lantern evokes the spirit of the great artists and the haunted past of a country ravaged by war, famine, and totalitarianism.

Review:

"When she moves to Moscow, British journalist Polonsky discovers that the former apartment of Vyacheslav Molotov, Stalin's most loyal henchman, is right above hers. Purely by coincidence, she is conducted into Molotov's apartment and discovers, among other objects, much of the former leader's library, some of it crumbling to dust, and an old magic lantern. Like faded images waiting for the light of this antique slide projector, Russian history and the Russian present reveal themselves in glimpses, like figures rising out of the dark, to Polonsky. In this sometimes entertaining and sometimes dreary book of travels, Polonsky uses the rotting pages of the books in Molotov's library as a guide, sometimes tracing lines that lead to places of exile, quest, or crime. In her travels, Polonsky goes to Lake Ilmen, where Christianity challenged many pagan deities, as well as to the towns where Chekhov and Dostoyevski wrote their most famous works. Part memoir, part travelogue, and part literary history, Polonsky's reminiscences bring to life both the familiar and the obscure in Russian history and literature, and raise indirectly the question of how Molotov, with his deep love and apparent appreciation of literature, could be responsible for his role in the execution of so many writers during the 1930s purges. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

“The result is an eccentric work, daring in conception, peculiar in construction, that incorporates all Polonsky's teeming scholarly knowledge of Russia and the Russian people ... In the course of her travels, Polonsky visits monasteries, dachas, sanatoriums and bath houses. Her chapter on Siberia in particular offers a meticulous reportage tinged with poetry, in which almost every page radiates gem-like images and an impressive literary craft ... Molotov's Magic Lantern remains a magnificent achievement, in which Russia emerges as less a nation than a marvelous region of the mind.” The Irish Times

Review:

“Its a gem ... [Polonsky] has achieved the unimaginable: a serious non-fiction account of Russia, which is as wide-ranging as it is entertaining ... This is a wonderful account of a changing Russia ... If you have always wanted to read an accessible, profound and original history of modern Russia, this is the book for you. Its a challenging and demanding read but one that is hugely rewarding.” Sunday Express

Review:

“As promising and enticing as a novel ... An unexpectedly delightful literary travelogue ... Polonsky is not so much a wanderer as a meanderer of the mind ... And Molotov's Magic Lantern is not a piece of history, nor of literary criticism, but a pocket torch shone into the nooks and crannies between the two.” The Sunday Times

Review:

“Polonsky's detail-studded hybrid of travelogue, biography and political and cultural history is dense and scholarly, and dares to lack a dominant propulsive narrative... Rather, it beautifully competes with Russia's endemic cultural amnesia to refract a terrifying national legacy through a bloodied sequence of endlessly shimmering stories, over which the figure of Putin still resolutely lies.” Metro

Review:

“[An] elegant book ...This is a many-layered portrait in which the strands of Russia past and present, town and countryside, real and intellectual, are interwoven with skill and ... erudition.” The Independent

Synopsis:

After moving to Moscow, British journalist Polonsky discovers the apartment of Stalin's henchman, Vyacheslav Molotov, and uncovers an extensive library and an old lantern — two things that lead her on a journey throughout Russia, which ultimately renews her vision of the country and its people.

Synopsis:

When the British journalist Rachel Polonsky moves to Moscow, she discovers an apartment on Romanov Street that was once home to the Soviet elite. One of the most infamous neighbors was the ruthless apparatchik Vyacheslav Molotov, a henchman for Stalin who was a participant in the collectivizations and the Great Purge—and also an ardent bibliophile. In what was formerly Molotovs apartment, Polonsky uncovers an extensive library and an old magic lantern—two things that lead her on an extraordinary journey throughout Russia and ultimately renew her vision of the country and its people.

In Molotovs Magic Lantern, Polonsky visits the haunted cities and vivid landscapes of the books from Molotovs library: works by Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Akhmatova, and others, some of whom were sent to the Gulag by the very man who collected their books. With exceptional insight and beautiful prose, Polonsky writes about the longings and aspirations of these Russian writers and others in the course of her travels from the Arctic to Siberia and from the forests around Moscow to the vast steppes. A singular homage to Russian history and culture, Molotovs Magic Lantern evokes the spirit of the great artists and the haunted past of a country ravaged by war, famine, and totalitarianism.

About the Author

Rachel Polonsky has written for Prospect, The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Spectator, among other publications. She is the author of English Literature and the Russian Aesthetic Renaissance and lives in Cambridge, England, with her family.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374211974
Subtitle:
Travels in Russian History
Author:
Polonsky, Rachel
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Soviet Union Intellectual life.
Subject:
Moscow (Russia) Description and travel.
Subject:
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Russia
Subject:
Former Soviet republics
Subject:
Russia-General Russian History
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20120103
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 2 Maps, a Bibliographical Note,
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

Other books you might like

  1. A Kidnapping in Milan: The CIA on Trial Used Hardcover $7.95
  2. Myth of the Social Volcano:... New Trade Paper $29.95
  3. The Gun
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  4. Dreams from My Father: A Story of...
    Used Trade Paper $3.50
  5. Conflict Resolution in the... New Trade Paper $39.50
  6. Access Controlled: The Shaping of... Used Trade Paper $13.88

Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » Russia » Soviet Union
History and Social Science » World History » Russia
Travel » Russia and Independent States » General
Travel » Russia and Independent States » Russia
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Molotov's Magic Lantern Sale Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.98 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374211974 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When she moves to Moscow, British journalist Polonsky discovers that the former apartment of Vyacheslav Molotov, Stalin's most loyal henchman, is right above hers. Purely by coincidence, she is conducted into Molotov's apartment and discovers, among other objects, much of the former leader's library, some of it crumbling to dust, and an old magic lantern. Like faded images waiting for the light of this antique slide projector, Russian history and the Russian present reveal themselves in glimpses, like figures rising out of the dark, to Polonsky. In this sometimes entertaining and sometimes dreary book of travels, Polonsky uses the rotting pages of the books in Molotov's library as a guide, sometimes tracing lines that lead to places of exile, quest, or crime. In her travels, Polonsky goes to Lake Ilmen, where Christianity challenged many pagan deities, as well as to the towns where Chekhov and Dostoyevski wrote their most famous works. Part memoir, part travelogue, and part literary history, Polonsky's reminiscences bring to life both the familiar and the obscure in Russian history and literature, and raise indirectly the question of how Molotov, with his deep love and apparent appreciation of literature, could be responsible for his role in the execution of so many writers during the 1930s purges. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review A Day" by , "Literature is everywhere, and Polonsky has a keen understanding that while Russians may not read much any longer, books remain a crucial aspect of the national character. Standing on the flattened plains of Taganrog, she says of Chekhov, who once lived there: "He learned about the horizon of time from looking into the lilac steppe distance." Polonsky may not be an academic, as Figes acidly suggested, but she certainly understands what books mean to the Russian people." (Read the entire The New Republic review)
"Review" by , “The result is an eccentric work, daring in conception, peculiar in construction, that incorporates all Polonsky's teeming scholarly knowledge of Russia and the Russian people ... In the course of her travels, Polonsky visits monasteries, dachas, sanatoriums and bath houses. Her chapter on Siberia in particular offers a meticulous reportage tinged with poetry, in which almost every page radiates gem-like images and an impressive literary craft ... Molotov's Magic Lantern remains a magnificent achievement, in which Russia emerges as less a nation than a marvelous region of the mind.”
"Review" by , “Its a gem ... [Polonsky] has achieved the unimaginable: a serious non-fiction account of Russia, which is as wide-ranging as it is entertaining ... This is a wonderful account of a changing Russia ... If you have always wanted to read an accessible, profound and original history of modern Russia, this is the book for you. Its a challenging and demanding read but one that is hugely rewarding.”
"Review" by , “As promising and enticing as a novel ... An unexpectedly delightful literary travelogue ... Polonsky is not so much a wanderer as a meanderer of the mind ... And Molotov's Magic Lantern is not a piece of history, nor of literary criticism, but a pocket torch shone into the nooks and crannies between the two.”
"Review" by , “Polonsky's detail-studded hybrid of travelogue, biography and political and cultural history is dense and scholarly, and dares to lack a dominant propulsive narrative... Rather, it beautifully competes with Russia's endemic cultural amnesia to refract a terrifying national legacy through a bloodied sequence of endlessly shimmering stories, over which the figure of Putin still resolutely lies.”
"Review" by , “[An] elegant book ...This is a many-layered portrait in which the strands of Russia past and present, town and countryside, real and intellectual, are interwoven with skill and ... erudition.”
"Synopsis" by , After moving to Moscow, British journalist Polonsky discovers the apartment of Stalin's henchman, Vyacheslav Molotov, and uncovers an extensive library and an old lantern — two things that lead her on a journey throughout Russia, which ultimately renews her vision of the country and its people.
"Synopsis" by ,

When the British journalist Rachel Polonsky moves to Moscow, she discovers an apartment on Romanov Street that was once home to the Soviet elite. One of the most infamous neighbors was the ruthless apparatchik Vyacheslav Molotov, a henchman for Stalin who was a participant in the collectivizations and the Great Purge—and also an ardent bibliophile. In what was formerly Molotovs apartment, Polonsky uncovers an extensive library and an old magic lantern—two things that lead her on an extraordinary journey throughout Russia and ultimately renew her vision of the country and its people.

In Molotovs Magic Lantern, Polonsky visits the haunted cities and vivid landscapes of the books from Molotovs library: works by Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Akhmatova, and others, some of whom were sent to the Gulag by the very man who collected their books. With exceptional insight and beautiful prose, Polonsky writes about the longings and aspirations of these Russian writers and others in the course of her travels from the Arctic to Siberia and from the forests around Moscow to the vast steppes. A singular homage to Russian history and culture, Molotovs Magic Lantern evokes the spirit of the great artists and the haunted past of a country ravaged by war, famine, and totalitarianism.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.