Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Provincial Talisman

The heartland of the Russian nation, as seen through the Gagarin cult, was not in Moscow but in Gagarin’s hometown of Gzhatsk. Renamed “Gagarin” after the cosmonaut’s death in 1968, the town is a typical Russian provincial backwater. In the … Continue reading

Posted in Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Soviet and Russian Space Flight | 4 Comments

Chernobyl at 25

The recent nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi brought the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown back into an often forgetful public consciousness. Although we will no doubt soon forget these events again, especially amidst the insane amount of coverage focused on royal … Continue reading

Posted in Chernobyl, Digital Russian History, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History | 5 Comments

YouTube of the Week – Khrushchev’s Visit to Iowa

So, this week’s YouTube of the Week is perhaps of more interest to researchers than it is to students. This is just part one of a series of videos uploaded by the Iowa State University Library’s Special Collections. They include … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Digital Russian History, Soviet Era 1917-1991, YouTube in Russian History Classes | 1 Comment

Important New Gagarin Book in Russian

There is a new biography of Gagarin out in Russian. I’m trying to get a hold of it (by Lev Danilkin, a prominent literary critic in Russia, titled Iurii Gagarin). I’ve read excerpts posted on line at the Molodaya Gvardiya … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Catherine on Memory and Forgetting

Hi, all–I’m the newest blogger here. In principle, I’m supposed to add in more Imperial-era coverage.  And, well, in practice, that is what I’m doing. I thought I’d start with something I’ve recently come across in passing that keeps making … Continue reading

Posted in Imperial Russia | 9 Comments

YouTube of the Week – Putin Rules

So, my YouTube of the Week feature would be better if it was actually a weekly feature. Unfortunately, a bit of illness has kept me offline for much of the last few weeks. So, when the YouTube of the Week … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Post-Soviet Russia, Teaching Russian History, YouTube in Russian History Classes | 1 Comment

The Flight that Launched a Thousand Rumors

As I noted in my first post (“Creating Cover Stories: A National Pastime”), an intense feeling of vulnerability and insecurity had compelled the Soviets, along with Russia’s authoritarian traditions, to surround Yuri Gagarin’s flight in secrecy. But they paid for … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Soviet and Russian Space Flight, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | 3 Comments