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cultural history
Romanov Riches: Russian Writers and Artists Under the Tsars
 
 
Author
Solomon Volkov. Anotonina W. Bouis, trans.
Publisher Knopf  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.75 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780307270634
Pages/Publication Date 285/2011
Daedalus Item Code 38426
List Price: $30.00
Sale Price: $5.98
You Save: $24.02
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Description
In a sweeping cultural history of Russia, stretching from the rise of the Romanovs in 1613 to their downfall three centuries later, Solomon Volkov unwinds the twisted relationship between Russian art and the royal family. Volkov—also the author of Shostakovich and Stalin and a cultural commentator for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty—explains how Russia's greatest writers, painters, poets, composers, and dancers may indeed have served their own principles, but they also served the tsars. Nor could their audiences respond without consideration of the royal reaction. Gogol, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy are presented here in a devilishly intricate dance with their royal patrons. Even Pushkin, the first favored artist to resist the tsar's influence, was eventually banished from St. Petersburg. Serving as a prequel to The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn, this book illuminates much about Russia's passionate devotion to its most important artists.

"So intrigued is Volkov with the nexus between art and politics in his native Russia, he follows his acclaimed The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn with a prequel. 'For the Romanovs, culture was the political instrument par excellence,' writes Volkov. But, of course, it wasn't that simple given the clashing egos and worldviews of the czars and the artists they expected to glorify them. In this delectably personified history, Volkov sensitively portrays the second Romanov czar, Alexei, who began the wretched tradition of exiling and imprisoning writers in 1667, and visionary Peter the Great. Volkov has high praise for cultured and bold Catherine II, who chose poet Gavrila Derzhavin as her minister of justice. We meet Mikhail Lomonosov, Russia's Leonardo da Vinci, and Vasily Zhukovsky, whose 'melancholy and mystical ballads' meant so much to sensitive Alexander I. Volkov revitalizes our understanding of rebellious poet Pushkin and offers fresh insights into Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky, and Turgenev. A thrillingly anecdotal and incisive look at the paradigmatic and paradoxical Romanov world of politics, patronage, and the quest for artistic freedom."—Booklist

 
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Robert K. Massie.
Studio: Random House.   Format: paperback. ISBN: 9780345438317.  Daedalus Item Code: 43508
List Price: $20.00 Sale Price: $5.98 You Save: $14.02
Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina
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