Category Archives: Stalin

The Books: Arguably, ‘Victor Serge: Pictures from an Inquisition’, by Christopher Hitchens

On the essays shelf: Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens Considering my long-standing fascination with all things Stalin, the fact that I had never read Victor Serge’s work was a major disconnect. I know his name came up in everything I … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Stalin | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Books: Arguably, ‘On Animal Farm’, by Christopher Hitchens

On the essays shelf: Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens Christopher Hitchens wrote an entire book on Orwell called Why Orwell Matters (it’s great, no surprise). His mentions of Orwell in print probably run into the hundreds of thousands. And not … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Stalin | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Books: Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays, ‘Visit to a Small Planet’, by Christopher Hitchens

On the essays shelf: Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays Anyone who’s read me for a while knows my fascination with totalitarian countries, autocracies, dictatorships, group brainwashing masked as ideological fervor, the whole nine yards. I actually could spend … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Stalin | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Books: Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays, ‘The Old Man’, by Christopher Hitchens

On the essays shelf: Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays Isaac Deutscher wrote a three-volume biography of Leon Trotsky (which I have not read: I mean, life is short, you know? I’m sure it’s amazing). Deutscher’s history is an … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Stalin | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Memoirs of a Revolutionary, by Victor Serge: A Chapbook

A phenomenal accomplishment, written on the run, through deportations, exile, imprisonment, and published posthumously. One of the most important books of the 20th century. Up there with Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror: A Reassessment. Victor Serge was active in Socialist … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Stalin | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Today in history: November 7, 1917

Yesterday’s post was a bit prescient, considering that today is the anniversary of one of the most seismic events of the 20th century: The Russian Revolution (or, at least, that first successful power-grab.) Look at that rogue’s gallery. I love … Continue reading

Posted in On This Day, Stalin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Stuff I’ve Been Reading

– I’ve seen this linked all over the place and finally got around to reading it: How the Freaky Octopus Can Help us Understand the Human Brain. I certainly don’t want to meet an octopus out in the wild but … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellania, Stalin | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Katyn (2007); Dir. Andrzej Wajda

In mid-September, 1939, on a bridge in Poland, groups of people flee from opposite directions. The Germans invade from behind, and the Russians approach from the front. It is utter chaos. The crowd is well-dressed, for the most part, holding … Continue reading

Posted in Movies, Stalin | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Happy Birthday, Rebecca West

Dame Rebecca West is the grand pooh-bah on my short list of “intellectual idols”. It is her birthday today. It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their debt … Continue reading

Posted in On This Day, Stalin, writers | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

György Ligeti’s “Musica Ricercata” in Eyes Wide Shut

I watched Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures last night, and while I have seen all of his films there was much about him I did not know. For example, when he was a teenager, he was already becoming an … Continue reading

Posted in Movies, Music, Stalin | Tagged , | 6 Comments