Workers of the World, Take PTO!
Vacations in the Soviet Union were hardly idylls spent with one’s dearest. Everything about them—from whom you traveled with to what you ate—was state determined.
The Red Sting: Conmen in the USSR
The Soviets loved a good confidence game, as was made evident by the popularity of the fictional character of Ostap Bender after Russian Revolution.
The USSR’s “Invisible Cuisine”
Unofficial cookbooks—handwritten recipes passed from kitchen to kitchen—provided their owners with social and cultural capital within the Soviet system.
How a Forbidden Russian Epic Finally Got Published
Soviet dissident Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate was "arrested" by the KGB in 1961. Here's how it finally saw the light of day.
What Do We Really Know about Joseph Stalin?
It took three more decades of Soviet rule before the archives dealing with Stalin and his times could be explored. And then the doors were shut again.
How the Nazis Created the Myth of Stalingrad
The battle of Stalingrad was the first major defeat of the Nazis in World War II, and presented the Nazis with a propaganda quandary.
The Agonizing Death of the Aral Sea
After decades of environmental disaster, fish and wildlife may rebound to Central Asia's Aral Sea, but the lake will never be restored to its former glory.
The Nazis’ Nightmarish Plan to Starve the Soviet Union
Before the infamous Wannsee conference, Nazis had another meeting during which they planned the mass starvation of millions of Eastern Europeans.
The Power of Anecdotes in Politics
The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev famously pounded his shoe at a United Nations meeting in 1960. Anecdotes of erratic behavior like this are unsettling.
The Unlikely Hippies of the USSR
On the little-known hippie youth culture of the USSR.