Posts in Book Prize 2018
Interview with Yuri Slezkine, author of Pushkin Prize 2018 shortlisted book 'The House of Governmnet'

Interview by Andrew Jack (@AJack)

What is your background?

I was born in 1956 in Moscow, raised there, went to Moscow State University and then to graduate school in Texas after a year in Lisbon. I got my degree in 1989 and have been teaching Russian history ever since, first at Wake Forest in North Carolina and then at the University of California, Berkeley. As an undergraduate, I studied literature and linguistics. I changed disciplines as well as countries, and discovered all sorts of new things. I was drawn to history in general, the history of the Soviet Union and questions having to do with nationalism and ethnicity…

Read More
Interview with William Taubman, author of Pushkin Prize 2018 shortlisted book 'Gorbachev'

Interview by Andrew Jack (@AJack)

What inspired you to study the Soviet Union?                

Growing up in the 1950s, I was a news junkie interested in the Cold War. I remember seeing Khrushchev riding through Central Park in a limousine in 1959. My mother’s parents came from the Black Sea and spoke Russian. Pretty early on, I began puzzling over how a movement that had begun with a vision of heaven on earth (namely Marxism) could end up with a Stalininst killing field. I wanted to figure that out, so I began majoring at college in Russian history, and eventually made that question a main theme of my course on Soviet politics…

Read More
Interview with Alexis Peri, winner of the 2018 Pushkin House Book Prize for 'The War Within'

Interview by Andrew Jack (@AJack)

How did you become interested in Russia?

I’ve always been interested in history and psychology and literature – those fundamental questions about understanding human behaviour. I took a lot of different history courses in college and university. What really drove me to be interested in Russia was the poetic way some of these questions were answered. I’ve always been impressed by the Russian tradition of valuing the word. I remember vividly taking Russian intellectual history, which gave me the chance to read the great novels and plays. I was just so intrigued by the intersection of the historical and the aesthetic in the Russian canon…

Read More