Mikhail Shishkin (2013 Harriman Writer in Residence), longstanding and outspoken critic of the Putin regime, has published a new book of essays under the title My Russia: War or Peace? (Quercus Books, March 2023). Mikhail Shishkin will talk about his new book on Thursday, April 6, 2023). Moderated by Mark Lipovetsky. Deutsches Haus, Columbia University, 420 W 116th Street, 6;00-7:30. Full details HERE.
From the Publisher’s catalog
In his timely new book, Mikhail Shishkin, argues that Russia is not a ‘riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’: we just don’t know enough about it. So what is the real story behind Putin’s autocratic regime and its invasion of Ukraine?
In My Russia: War or Peace? Shishkin traces the roots of Russia’s problems, from the ‘Kievan Rus’ via the Grand Duchy of Moscow, empire, revolution and Cold War, to the now thirty-year-old Russian Federation. He explores the uneasy relationship between state and citizens, explains Russian attitudes to people’s rights and democracy, and proposes that there are really two Russian peoples: the disillusioned and disaffected, who suffer from ‘slave mentality’, and those who embrace ‘European’ values and try to stand up to oppression.
Both deeply personal and taking a broader historical view, My Russia is a passionate, eye-opening account of a state entangled in a complex and bloody past, as well as a love letter to a conflicted country. Will Russia continue its vicious circle of upheaval and autocracy, or will its people find a way out of history – and how can we help?
My Russia: War or Peace? was recently reviewed in the Sunday Times 19.03.23 (Ireland); and the Daily Telegraph 18.3.21.
Read Shishkin’s interview in the Guardian: “The Main Enemy of Russian Culture Is the Russian Regime” (April 2, 2023).
The Guardian also published Shishkin’s essay “My Country Has Fallen Out of Time: Letter to an Unknown Ukrainian” (April 2, 2023).