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spoko

spoko

Currently reading

The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia
David E. Hoffman
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, Diana Burgin, Katherine Tiernan O'Connor
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
Arun Gandhi, Marshall B. Rosenberg
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Eric Metaxas, Timothy Keller
Parting the Waters: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-63
Taylor Branch
The Path to Power
Robert A. Caro
The Nature of Nebraska: Ecology and Biodiversity
Paul A. Johnsgard
Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
Robin D.G. Kelley
Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia - Candace Fleming

I am not sure how much I trust Fleming as a historian; she often seems to soften her assessment of the Romanovs' actions and beliefs, and her descriptions of Lenin seem deliberately snide. Not that she is, strictly, inaccurate in either case, but her writing does seem to have a slant. Still, for me it was a pretty good introduction to this period in Russian history. I knew the general sketch of what had happened, of course, but Fleming does a good job laying out the details—even when they are pretty complex, and might easily be convoluted in a lesser writer's hands. From a narrative standpoint, she chooses well which parts to devote close attention to and which to paint in broad strokes. What might have been either dry or overly romanticized ends up being neither.