Category Archives: Russia

The Arc of Utopia in the anniversary year of Russia 1917

Not much enthusiasm has been directed towards the Russian Revolution in this year of its centenary, 2017. At least that’s the case in the British press. Before the fall of Communism in 1989 and the end of the Soviet Union … Continue reading

Posted in Arc of Utopia - my latest book, Art History, Britain Today, Cold War, Philosophy and Philosophers, Russia, Russian Revolution 1917 | Tagged , , , , ,

The Royal Academy’s show Revolution and the historic meaning of the 1932 Russian Artists’ exhibition

The Russian Revolution as seen through the history of its paintings and artefacts has delighted and confused visitors to London’s Royal Academy this early Spring. Despite many works by the much loved and admired Kazimir Malevich, and magnificent photographs by … Continue reading

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From Pasternak’s novel to David Lean’s film of Doctor Zhivago

Pasternak told an interviewer from abroad in 1960 that  I wanted to record the past and to honor in Doctor Zhivago the beautiful and sensitive aspects of the Russia of those years. There will be no return of those days, … Continue reading

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Shostakovich and Football Another Way of Expressing the Soviet Tragedy

4 January 1942 Kuybishev Dear Isaak, I am writing to you a lot these days, as much in fact as my supply of envelopes will allow – this particular product of the papermaking industry is extraordinarily hard to come by. … Continue reading

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Isaiah Berlin and the Policeman

  It’s become in my mind like Nietzsche and the horse. It’s Isaiah Berlin and the policeman. With Isaiah the startling event took place in childhood, not on the threshhold of extinction, and it happened to an utterly different kind … Continue reading

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A Moment in Russian Self-Perception

At the Prague Press Forum, May 12-14 2013, Russian journalist Maria Eismont took questions about the situation of the Russian media, whose independence many in the West consider compromised by the Putin regime. She wasn’t willing to give a structured … Continue reading

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Russian Misery at the Saatchi Gallery

The irony is a bit heavy by Western standards. To call this show ‘Gaiety is the Most Outstanding Feature of the Soviet Union’ is redundant. On the other hand what name can you put on human suffering which is a … Continue reading

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