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OPEN DISCUSSION: Your Suggestions - Best Books About Russia?

We're making a list, and checking it twice

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Dear readers,

We are putting together a list of non-fiction books about Russia which we particularly recommend, both recent and past, which we want to feature on Russia Insider.

There are so many awful and misleading books about Russia out there - we thought it would be a community service to point readers in the direction of what we believe to be worthwhile, many of which get very little publicity. 

Perhaps we should also have a list of books which, if you want to understand Russia, you should avoid reading at all costs.  It would include most of the titles routinely hawked by the New York Times, The New Yorker, The NY and London Reviews of Books, Etc. which are owned and staffed, to judge by their recommendations, by fire-breathing  Russia haters.  But that is a project for another day.

Your input is very important to us.

Following are a handful of titles that occurred to me off the top of my head, including some of my favorites from times past.  It is in no way comprehensive or well thought out.  Just something to start with.


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Everyday SaintsBishop Tikhon2012
Land of the FirebirdSuzanne Massie1980
The Big Red Train RideEric Newby1978
The Essential SakerThe Saker2015
Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the BorderlandsRichard Sakwa2016
Does Russia Have a Future?Gil Doctorow2015
Lectures on Russian LiteratureVladimir Nabokov1980
Black Earth - A Journey Through Russia After the FallAndrew Meier2005
Architecture at the End of the Earth: Photographing the Russian NorthWilliam Brumfield2015

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If you have any suggestions, we would be very interested to hear them.  

Books do not have to be well known or have sold well - the only criteria is that they give a worthy insight into Russian life, society, history, culture, travel, religion, or politics, without the Russophobia so rampant in most non-fiction work about Russia.

If you have a suggestion, please make it in the comments section below.

Thanks, and a very Merry Christmas to all of you.

Charles Bausman, Editor

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

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