Night of Stone by Catherine Merridale
Death and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia

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Synopsis

A brilliant new work of interpretative history that provides a unique perspective on the beautiful but tortured culture of twentieth-century Russia.

Russia has endured more bloodshed than any other European country in the twentieth century. Yet, while countries such as Germany have learned the value of confronting the darker side of their own pasts, Russia has never faced the reality of its troubled history in a meaningful and collective way. In this provocative and highly original book, Catherine Merridale asks Russians difficult questions about how their country's volatile past has affected their everyday lives, their aspirations, their dreams, and their nightmares.

Based on extensive research including rare imperial archives, Soviet propaganda, memoirs, letters, newspapers, literature, psychiatric studies, and texts, as well as interviews with doctors, priests, social workers, policemen, survivors, gravediggers, and funeral directors, Night of Stone seeks answers to the questions: What is the true impact of violence in the Soviet century? How successfully have the Russians psychologically rewritten their own histories? What rituals have survived the Soviet regime, and what do they tell us of the Russian mentality? Reminiscent of the highly successful The Hour of Our Death, Night of Stone is an emotionally wrenching, eloquent work that will appeal to all readers of Russian and European history as well as anyone interested in the processes of memory.
 

About Catherine Merridale

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Catherine Merridale is a Senior Lecturer in history at the University of Bristol. She holds degrees from Cambridge & Birmingham. This book was supported by grants from the MacArthur Foundation, the British Academy, & the Russian Academy of Science. She is the author of two academic books on Russia & has written for the prestigious History Workshop Journal. She lives in Bristol, England.
 
Published April 2, 2001 by Viking Adult. 384 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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through it all she sees many Russians embracing what she calls “the stoicism myth.” Despite what they have suffered through a most savage century, Merridale concludes, they are only now beginning to realize—and acknowledge—the effects.

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Publishers Weekly

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Paying particular attention to the ways that Orthodox religion and Soviet atheism have affected Russian bereavement, Merridale explores Russian perceptions of death and afterlife from before the Bolshevik Revolution, through both world wars and the great famines of the 1930s and into the present.

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Suite 101

The explosion that occurred over Russia in 1908 is suspected to have been a comet or asteroid, and this impact could have also formed Lake Cheko.

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London Review of Books

These, together with her own reflections, are interspersed with the fruit of her researches into the written, photographic, archaeological and architectural materials relating to her subject.

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