Stephen M. Norris

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The Great War That Led to Imperial Apocalypse

The Great War That Led to Imperial Apocalypse

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In November 1914, the Russian-Jewish writer Semyon Ansky traveled to Galicia to see how the war had changed the region. Ansky — the pen name of Shloyme-Zanvl Rappoport — had heard rumors ...

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Eastern Front Also Produced Great WWI Prose

Eastern Front Also Produced Great WWI Prose

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The centenary of the Great War is upon us and so too are the innumerable events, publications and reminders of its significance.

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Zhivago, Pasternak's 'Final Happiness and Madness'

Zhivago, Pasternak's 'Final Happiness and Madness'

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When the editorial board of Novy Mir formally rejected the publication of Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago" in September 1956, they sent the author a lengthy letter explaining why. In it, the five ...

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Book Review: The Tale Behind Pasternak's Zhivago Exciting as Book Itself

Book Review: The Tale Behind Pasternak's Zhivago Exciting as Book Itself

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When the editorial board of "Novy Mir" formally rejected the publication of Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago" in September 1956, they sent the author a lengthy letter explaining why.

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Book Review: Plokhy's 'The Last Empire' Is the Best Account of the Soviet Collapse Yet

Book Review: Plokhy's 'The Last Empire' Is the Best Account of the Soviet Collapse Yet

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The recent turmoil in Ukraine has led many Western analysts to accuse President Vladimir Putin of seeking to resurrect the "Soviet Empire." Indeed, Russia's justification for the annexation of Crimea largely stems ...

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Book Review: Roots of Russian Nationalism Seen in 20th-Century Ukraine

Book Review: Roots of Russian Nationalism Seen in 20th-Century Ukraine

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From mid-October, larger and larger crowds convened in Kiev. Worried about their size and their calls for change, the authorities declared martial law and had dozens arrested. These actions only saw the ...

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Ukraine's New Sites of Memory, Part III: The Two Banderas

Ukraine's New Sites of Memory, Part III: The Two Banderas

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On Jan. 22, 2010, then-President Viktor Yushchenko awarded Stepan Bandera the title "Hero of Ukraine." The decision met with official anger from the Russian government, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other organizations. ...

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Ukraine's Sites of Memory: Chernobyl in the Heart

Ukraine's Sites of Memory: Chernobyl in the Heart

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President Vladimir Putin may have declared in 2005 that the Soviet collapse was the "major geopolitical disaster of the century," but the Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum built in Kiev after 1991 tells ...

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Ukraine's New Sites of Memory: A Candle in Kiev

Ukraine's New Sites of Memory: A Candle in Kiev

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In Kiev's center, next to the Pecherska Lavra and looming above the Dnieper river, stands a new monument dedicated to remembering the famine, or Holodomor, of the early 1930s.

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Shevchenko's 'Kobzar' Portrays Ukrainian Nationhood

Shevchenko's 'Kobzar' Portrays Ukrainian Nationhood

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Taras Shevchenko's birthday was March 9, 1814 and this past Sunday, Ukrainians celebrated his bicentennial. In Kiev, Maidan activists laid a wreath at his statue, Crimean Tatars carried banners advocating peace, while ...