Worse than yesterday, better than in ’37

Eugene Volokh is a renowned UCLA law professor and a very popular blogger (The Volokh Conspiracy). His family emigrated to the US from the Soviet Union when he was 7 years old.In a recent post on his blog, he writes that he is often asked what he thinks...
Teddy Roosevelt on Anna Karenina

Teddy Roosevelt on Anna Karenina

Yesterday there was a post about Teddy Roosevelt’s response to Russian literature. It’s worth quoting Teddy at length (from a letter to his younger sister dated April 12th 1886): “I took Anna Karenina along for the trip and have read it through with very...
Professor Domar on Serfdom and Slavery

Professor Domar on Serfdom and Slavery

Question:  when are land owners more likely to petition the ruler to restrict the freedom of peasants to move around:  when there are lots of peasants or when there are only few?  That was the question asked by Professor Domar of MIT.When peasants are...
What’s with all those duels?

What’s with all those duels?

The Russian literature of the 19th century is full of duels. Duels figured prominently as subjects in important works by all the major writers of the period: Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, and Chekhov. Duels also killed Pushkin at 37 and Lermontov...
Literary References

Literary References

Tolstoy and ChekhovThe business of comparing national literatures across languages and time is anything but tricky. Take the English 19th century prose from Jane Austen through Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Trollope, George Eliot, Hardy, to Joseph Conrad. By any...

Leo Tolstoy on The Writer’s Almanac

It’s Leo Tolstoy’s birthday today, and Garrison Keillor has written his life story at “The Writers Almanac.”It’s the birthday of novelist Leo Tolstoy (books by this author), born into nobility near Tula, Russia (1828). Besides the pain of...