From the Vikings to the EU the Baltic has been a Nordic Mediterranean, a shared maritime zone with distinct patterns of trade, cultural exchange, and conflict. Covering a thousand years in a part of the globe where seas are more connective than land, Michael North’s overview transforms the way we think about one of the world’s great waterways.
Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia
By: Bruce Lincoln
For Russians, St.Petersburg has embodied power, heroism and fortitude. It has encompassed all the things that the Russians are and that they hope to become. Opulence and artistic brilliance blend with images of suffering on a monumental scale to make up the historic persona the late W. Bruce Lincoln's lavish biography of this mysterious, complex city. Climate and comfort were not what Tsar Peter the Great had in mind when he decided to build a new capital in the muddy marshes of the Neva River delta. Located 500 miles below the Arctic Circle, this area, with its foul weather, bad water and sodden soil, was so unattractive that only a handful of Finnish fisherman had ever settled there. Yet to the Tsar the place he named Sankt Pieter Burkh had the makings of a paradise. His vision was soon borne out: though St. Petersburg was closer to London, Paris and Vienna than to Russian's far-off eastern lands, it quickly became the political, cultural and economic center of an empire that stretched across more than a dozen time zones and over three continents.In this book, revolutionaries and laborers brush shoulders with tsars and builders, soldiers and statesmen share pride of place with poets. For only the entire historical experience of this magnificent and mysterious city can reveal the wealth of human and natural forces that shaped the modern history of the city and the nation it represents.
Visit and explore Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during your trip to the Baltic States.From top restaurants, bars, and clubs to standout scenic sites and walks, our insider tips are sure to make your trip outstanding. Whether you're looking for unique and interesting shops and markets, or seeking the best venues for music and nightlife, we have entertainment and hotel recommendations for every budget covered in our Eyewitness Travel Guide.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania. • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance. • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights. • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums. • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area. • Area maps marked with sights. • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation. • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights. • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania truly shows you the country as no one else can.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide. Visit TravelDK.com to learn more.
A History of the Baltic States (Palgrave Essential Histories Series)
By: Andres Kasekamp
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania experienced a sequence of foreign regimes, including Nazism and communism, before recovering their independence and joining the European Union. Clearly and accessibly written, this book is one of the first to provide a general overview of their histories from the stone age to the present using a comparative approach.
The 'Northern Crusades', inspired by the Pope's call for a Holy War, are less celebrated than those in the Middle East, but they were also more successful: vast new territories became and remain Christian, such as Finland, Estonia and Prussia. Newly revised in the light of the recent developments in Baltic and Northern medieval research, this authoritative overview provides a balanced and compelling account of a tumultuous era.
Beginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St. Petersburg and culminating with the Soviet regime, Figes examines how writers, artists, and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself--its character, spiritual essence, and destiny. Skillfully interweaving the great works--by Dostoevsky, Stravinsky, and Chagall--with folk embroidery, peasant songs, religious icons, and all the customs of daily life, Figes reveals the spirit of "Russianness" as rich and uplifting, complex and contradictory--and more lasting than any Russian ruler or state.
Fragile, gritty, and vital to an extraordinary degree, St. Petersburg is one of the world’s most alluring cities—a place in which the past is at once ubiquitous and inescapably controversial. Yet outsiders are far more familiar with the city’s pre-1917 and Second World War history than with its recent past. In this beautifully illustrated and highly original book, Catriona Kelly shows how creative engagement with the past has always been fundamental to St. Petersburg’s residents. Weaving together oral history, personal observation, literary and artistic texts, journalism, and archival materials, she traces the at times paradoxical feelings of anxiety and pride that were inspired by living in the city, both when it was socialist Leningrad, and now. Ranging from rubbish dumps to promenades, from the city’s glamorous center to its grimy outskirts, this ambitious book offers a compelling and always unexpected panorama of an extraordinary and elusive place.
The Nazi siege of Leningrad from 1941 to 1944 was one of the most gruesome episodes of World War II. Nearly three million people endured it; just under half of them died. For twenty-five years the distinguished journalist and historian Harrison Salisbury pieced together this remarkable narrative of villainy and survival, in which the city had much to fear-from both Hitler and Stalin.
History Files: This new paperback series presents the people, events, and ideas that shaped our past and made our present. Drawing upon the latest research, the books are abundantly illustrated with telling images from out-of-the-way sources, and offer the tangible fragments of vanished times in the form of loose-leaf facsimile documents that are included in the books. Between the seventeenth century and the 1917 revolution, the Russian Tsars became absolute rulers of the largest and most diverse empire in the world. The splendor of their court and their capital city, St. Petersburg, was extraordinary, but this imperial edifice was supported by the toil of millions of serfs tied to the land and brutally repressed. The vast majority of the people were uneducated, yet Russia produced writers, artists, and composers of world importance. The Tsars created a mighty army, but it failed them in the Crimea and in World War I. This empire of contradictions was to have a profound influence on both Europe and Asia. Peter Waldron tells the stories of all the Russians, exploring how the vastness of the empire and its extremes of climate affected the lives of rulers and peasants alike. He recounts how Peter the Great and later Tsars built the empire, and describes some of the individuals who worked for and against social change in Russia. Box features on specific people, places, and events and many quotations from Russian sources bring this saga vividly to life. The ten facsimile documents include a 1710 map of St. Petersburg, a newspaper report on the Crimean War, and the announcement of Nicholas II’s abdication in 1917. 133 illustrations, 89 in color, and 10 facsimile documents
The definitive volumes celebrating the collections of the Hermitage Museum. For nearly 250 years the State Hermitage has been one of Europe’s most palatial museums. It encompasses more than three million works of art and artifacts displayed within a spectacular architectural ensemble, the heart of which is the famed Winter Palace. The two volumes of The Hermitage Collections capture the masterpieces and discuss the history that make this world-famous institution a cultural destination and a global treasure. Many of its rarely reproduced works are included in these two volumes, such as The Raphael Loggias (as copied from the Vatican), Michelangelo’s Crouching Boy, The Gonzaga Cameo, Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna with a Flower (The Benois Madonna), and Titian’s St. Sebastian. The Hermitage collections were developed beginning in 1764 by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. Today, the Hermitage collections constitute one of the great art museums of the world.
The Empress of Art: Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia
By: Susan Jaques
Ruthless and passionate, Catherine the Great is singularly responsible for amassing one of the most awe-inspiring collections of art in the world and turning St. Petersburg in to a world wonder. The Empress of Art brings to life the creation of this captivating woman's greatest legacy An art-oriented biography of the mighty Catherine the Great, who rose from seemingly innocuous beginnings to become one of the most powerful people in the world. A German princess who married a decadent and lazy Russian prince, Catherine mobilized support amongst the Russian nobles, playing off of her husband's increasing corruption and abuse of power. She then staged a coup that ended with him being strangled with his own scarf in the halls of the palace and herself crowned the Empress of Russia.Intelligent and determined, Catherine modeled herself off of her grandfather in-law, Peter the Great, and sought to further modernize and westernize Russia. She believed that the best way to do this was through a ravenous acquisition of art, which Catherine often used as a form of diplomacy with other powers throughout Europe. She was a self-proclaimed "glutton for art" and she would be responsible for the creation of the Hermitage, one of the largest museums in the world, second only to the Louvre. Catherine also spearheaded the further expansion of St. Petersburg, and the magnificent architectural wonder the city became is largely her doing. There are few women in history more fascinating than Catherine the Great, and for the first time, Susan Jaques brings her to life through the prism of art. 24 pages of color illustrations
From the Modern Library’s new set of beautifully repackaged hardcover classics by Robert K. Massie—also available are Nicholas and Alexandra and The RomanovsAgainst the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned co-tsar at the age of ten. The acclaimed author of Catherine the Great, Robert K. Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a legend—including his “incognito” travels in Europe, his unquenchable curiosity about Western ways, his obsession with the sea and establishment of the stupendous Russian navy, his creation of an unbeatable army, his transformation of Russia, and his relationships with those he loved most: Catherine, the robust yet gentle peasant, his loving mistress, wife, and successor; and Menshikov, the charming, bold, unscrupulous prince who rose to wealth and power through Peter’s friendship. Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, tender and unforgiving, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life. The Modern Library of the World’s Best Books Peter the Great Winner of the Pulitzer Prize “Enthralling . . . as fascinating as any novel and more so than most.”—The New York Times Book Review Nicholas and Alexandra “A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible.”—Harper’s The Romanovs “Riveting . . . unfolds like a detective story.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov's life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Defense.
Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida (Penguin Classics)
From the reign of the Tsars in the early nineteenth century to the collapse of the Soviet Union and beyond, the short story has long occupied a central place in Russian culture. Included here are pieces from many of the acknowledged masters of Russian literature—including Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Solzhenitsyn—alongside tales by long-suppressed figures such as the subversive Kryzhanowsky and the surrealist Shalamov. Whether written in reaction to the cruelty of the bourgeoisie, the bureaucracy of communism, or the torture of the prison camps, they offer a wonderfully wide-ranging and exciting representation of one of the most vital and enduring forms of Russian literature.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the dean of Scandinavian noir, the second riveting installment in the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed Kurt Wallander series, the basis for the PBS series staring Kenneth Branagh.On the Swedish coastline, two bodies, victims of grisly torture and cold execution, are discovered in a life raft. With no witnesses, no motives, and no crime scene, Detective Kurt Wallander is frustrated and uncertain he has the ability to solve a case as mysterious as it is heinous. But after the victims are traced to the Baltic state of Latvia, a country gripped by the upheaval of Soviet disintegration, Major Liepa of the Riga police takes over the investigation. Thinking his work done, Wallander slips into routine once more, until suddenly, he is called to Riga and plunged into an alien world where shadows are everywhere, everything is watched, and old regimes will do anything to stay alive.