WINNER OF THE INAUGURAL PUSHKIN HOUSE RUSSIAN BOOK PRIZE ANNOUNCED AT THE HAY FESTIVAL 2013

Former People by Douglas Smith has been named as the winner of the inaugural Pushkin House Russian Book Prize, in association with Waterstones, in a ceremony at the 2013 Hay Festival.

In ‘Former People: The Last Days of the Russian Aristocracy’, Douglas Smith tells the story of how the Russian aristocracy was dispossessed and destroyed by the Russian Revolution.Smith draws on the personal archives of two famous families, the Sheremetovs and Golitsyns, to tell his story.It is a book filled with chilling tales of looted palaces, burning estates, of desparate flights in the night from marauding bands of thugs and Red Army soldiers, of imprisonment, exile and execution. But it also shows how the Russian aristocracy survived and were accommodated by the new regime. Moreover, it reveals how even in the darkest days, everyday life somehow carried on.

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