Suggested Reading List
Catherine the Great
Author: Robert K. Massie
Description: Eager readers of Massie's Nicholas and Alexandria or the Pulitzer Prize-wining Peter the Great will not be disappointed by this latest, an old-fashioned tale of politics, power and 18th-century Europe, drawing effectively from the ambitious Catherine's own memoirs.
Catherine the Great, A Short History
Author: Isabel De Madariaga
Description: A brief survey of the reign of Catherine the Great that nicely balances biography with descriptions of the economic, political and social life of the period.
Crime and Punishment
Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky, David McDuff (Translator)
Description: Dostoevsky's thriller of murder and redemption is redolent of St. Petersburg’s atmosphere. A cornerstone of Russian literature, and one of the greatest detective stories ever told.
Eyewitness Guide St. Petersburg
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: With excellent local maps and site plans, this outstanding visual guide introduces the culture, history and attractions of St. Petersburg.
Fodor's Moscow and St. Petersburg
Author: Salwa Jabado
Description: With solid practical information on sights, excursions, restaurants, hotels and nightlife, and a chapter on the cities of the Golden Ring.
Land of the Firebird, The Beauty of Old Russia
Author: Suzanne Massie
Description: Massie traces both minuscule details and larger movements in pre-revolutionary Russian art, literature and daily life in this affectionate overview of 19th-century palaces, courts and culture.
Author: David Remnick
Description: A gripping eyewitness tale of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Remnick, the Washington Post reporter on the scene, combines fine historical scholarship with great storytelling.
Literary St. Petersburg, A Guide to the City and Its Writers
Author: Elaine Blaire
Description: Blair shows St. Petersburg through the words, museums and haunts of 15 writers, including Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Nabokov.
Description: A handy, folding map of Moscow.
Natasha's Dance, A Cultural History of Russia
Author: Orlando Figes
Description: In this lively cultural history, Figes looks at both the great works by Russian masters and longstanding folk traditions. The title is drawn from a scene of Tolstoy's War and Peace in which a European-educated countess performs a peasant dance.
Odyssey Guide Moscow, St. Petersburg & The Golden Ring
Author: Masha Nordbye, Patricia Lanza (Photographer)
Description: A comprehensive guide to the art, culture and history of two great Russian cities, filled with maps and fine color photographs.
Peter the Great, His Life and World
Author: Robert Massie
Description: In this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Massie portrays the giant of history who transformed Russia from backwater tsardom into a major empire.
Romanov Riches, Russian Writers and Artists Under the Tsars
Author: Solomon Volkov
Description: Volkov effortlessly unwinds the twisted relationship between art and the royal family from the rise of the Romanovs in 1613 to their downfall in 1917, including a chapter on Catherine the Great and her era.
Russia of the Tsars
Author: Peter Waldron
Description: Waldron recounts the exploits of Peter the Great and the Tsars and the splendor of their capital city, St. Petersburg, in this lively, well illustrated and compact overview of the largest and most diverse empire of its day.
Russia, A Concise History
Author: Ronald Hingley
Description: Well-known scholar Hingley sketches Russia's multiple transformations from her illiterate, pagan, Slavic roots to a multi-ethnic empire in this highly readable, well-illustrated brief history.
Russian Short Stories
Author: Robert Chandler (Editor)
Description: This fine collection of tales captures the sweep and soul of Russian literature, including works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Tolstoy along with lesser-known greats.
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Description: Nabokov's richly imagined memoir wonderfully evokes cultural life among the well-to-do in turn-of-the-century St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg Map
Author: Berndtson & Berndtson
Description: A detailed, laminated city plan of St. Petersburg, with street index inset. Place names are in transliterated English.
Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia
Author: W. Bruce Lincoln
Description: A wonderfully written, informative portrait of St. Petersburg, focusing on the city's development in the 18th and 19th centuries as Russia's "window on the West." Highly recommended for travelers with an interest in the character and significance of the city and its monuments.
The Hermitage: A Journey in Time and Space
Author: Kultur Video
Description: This 116 minute documentary, directed Vladimir Ptashchenko and accompanied by orchestral music, showcases the extraordinary collections, Originally established as the private collection of the Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
The Ransom of Russian Art
Author: John McPhee
Description: McPhee tackles a rather unusual topic for him: the story of suppressed Russian art and the man who brought it to America.
The Routledge Atlas of Russian History
Author: Martin Gilbert
Description: A fantastically interesting, useful survey of the history of Russia in maps. This revised edition follows the fate of Russia since the demise of the Soviet Union, with 161 maps covering rebellion, famine, expansion, trade, the military, communism's collapse and myriad other topics.
The Winter Queen
Author: Boris Akunin, Andrew Bromfield (Translator)
Description: Akunin sets a suspected murder among the glitterati of late 19th-century Moscow in this first book in the series of clever detective novels starring the rascal Erast Fandorin, wildly popular in Russia. The series continues with: The Turkish Gambit (RUS263), set during the 1877 Russo-Turkish War; Murder on the Leviathan (RUS225), an homage to Christie; and The Death of Achilles (RUS291), back in Moscow. Fandorin is deputy to the governor-general of czarist Moscow in Special Assignments (RUS371), facing a serial murder and a swindler.
Tsar, The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra
Author: Peter Kurth, Peter Christopher (Photographer), Edvard Radzinsky (Introduction)
Description: A tribute to the last of the Romanovs, featuring a treasure trove of never-published photographs and illuminating text. It brings to life in sumptuous detail the tumultuous life and times of Nicholas and Alexandra. Masterful.