The traditional narrative of the Russian Civil War is one of revolution against counterrevolution, Bolshevik Reds against Tsarist Whites. Liudmila Novikova convincingly demonstrates, however, that the struggle was not between a Communist future and a Tsarist past; instead, it was a bloody fight among diverse factions of a modernizing postrevolutionary state. Focusing on the sparsely populated Arkhangelsk region in Northern Russia, she shows that the anti-Bolshevik government there, which held out from 1918 to early 1920, was a revolutionary alternative bolstered by broad popular support.
Novikova draws on declassified archives and sources in both Russia and the West to reveal the White movement in the North as a complex social and political phenomenon with a distinct regional context. She documents the politics of the Northern Government and its relations with the British and American forces who had occupied the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk at the end of World War I. As the civil war continued, the increasing involvement of the local population transformed the conflict into a ferocious "people's war" until remaining White forces under General Evgenii Miller evacuated the region in February 1920.
Carpeted in boreal forests, dotted with lakes, cut by rivers, and straddling the Arctic Circle, the region surrounding the White Sea, which is known as the Russian North, is sparsely populated and immensely isolated. It is also the home to architectural marvels, as many of the original wooden and brick churches and homes in the region's ancient villages and towns still stand. Featuring nearly two hundred full color photographs of these beautiful centuries-old structures, Architecture at the End of the Earth is the most recent addition to William Craft Brumfield's ongoing project to photographically document all aspects of Russian architecture.
The architectural masterpieces Brumfield photographed are diverse: they range from humble chapels to grand cathedrals, buildings that are either dilapidated or well cared for, and structures repurposed during the Soviet era. Included are onion-domed wooden churches such as the Church of the Dormition, built in 1674 in Varzuga; the massive walled Transfiguration Monastery on Great Solovetsky Island, which dates to the mid-1550s; the Ferapontov-Nativity Monastery's frescoes, painted in 1502 by Dionisy, one of Russia's greatest medieval painters; nineteenth-century log houses, both rustic and ornate; and the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Vologda, which was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in the 1560s. The text that introduces the photographs outlines the region's significance to Russian history and culture.
Brumfield is challenged by the immense difficulty of accessing the Russian North, and recounts traversing sketchy roads, crossing silt-clogged rivers on barges and ferries, improvising travel arrangements, being delayed by severe snowstorms, and seeing the region from the air aboard the small planes he needs to reach remote areas.
The buildings Brumfield photographed, some of which lie in near ruin, are at constant risk due to local indifference and vandalism, a lack of maintenance funds, clumsy restorations, or changes in local and national priorities. Brumfield is concerned with their futures and hopes that the region's beautiful and vulnerable achievements of master Russian carpenters will be preserved. Architecture at the End of the Earth is at once an art book, a travel guide, and a personal document about the discovery of this bleak but beautiful region of Russia that most readers will see here for the first time.
In the far northwestern corner of Russia lies the Barents Sea: a rich region of natural resources that has yet to be fully exploited. Future actions taken in Barents will create major environmental, political, and economic ripples around the globe. Big Oil Playground, Russian Bear Preserve or European Periphery? explores three plausible and thought-provoking scenarios for the region's future over the next two decades.
The volume considers whether the international energy industry will transform Barents into a "big oil playground," if environmental protection rules will make it a "Russian bear preserve," or if integration into world trade will put it on the "European periphery." The result is a valuable resource for understanding the changing dynamics and challenges in modern public planning and a globalized economy.
Ice Floe III
Edited by Shannon Gramse and Sarah Kirk University of Alaska Press, 2012 Library of Congress PN6099.I345 2012 | Dewey Decimal 808.81935820913
The third volume of the revived Ice Floe series, Ice Floe III features new and exciting works of poetry by authors from Alaska, Canada, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. All work is presented in both its original language and in English translation. The contributors—Nancy Lord, Tom Sexton, Eira Stenberg, and Riina Katajavuori, among others—include established and emerging poets. This dynamic and vibrant collection of voices from the northern latitudes will be a great read for all poetry enthusiasts and devoted readers of international literature.