Categories
history literature

Strange Freedom

From this traumatised, divided old Russian Soviet poet, we learn about our own strange freedom.

Categories
history

Three historical notes on Putin’s 2022 Victory Day Parade Speech

Vladimir Putin’s Victory Day speech tells stories of how Russia has responded to threats by embracing multi-ethnic, multi-national traditions.

Categories
history the real world today

What if Russia Wins?

So, it seems reasonable at least to ask: what will happen in the West if Russia wins the war in Ukraine?

Categories
history literature

The Irony of Chekhov

Something tells me Chekhov and the innovations in drama he bequeathed to us may appear in my podcast series on the gifts of Russian culture.

Categories
history

How Lenin on the Train began a 100 Years War

Catherine Merridale, Lenin on the Train (2016), which I finished reading last night, is a very fine book. It is a gem, and perhaps ought to be recommended as among the very best introductions to the history of the Russian Revolution.

Categories
culture history

The Northman – as reviewed by the Burning Archive

Last night I saw The Northman, the new film set in the world of the Norse/Vikings and directed by Richard Eggers.

Categories
history The Burning Archive Podcast

Burning Archive Podcast 52 Professions and Guilds in Games and History

This morning I released the latest Burning Archive podcast. In games, we see a different pre-modern world of work – of artisans, craft skills and guilds. Was this world ever real, and what does this fantasy world of work tell us of our collective memory of work and collective organisation? Join me on this fascinating tour of the history of work, guilds and unions, and the global transformations of ideas of work in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Categories
history

Chronicles of the Third World War?

There is a war across many states to shape the institutions of the multipolar world. The Atlantic elites have declared this war in the name of democracy, and with too little regard for the consequences for the citizens of the world. This conflict will last a long time, maybe five to ten years, unless, that is, there is a rapid collapse of political order in the United States of America. Currently this war is undertaken across all dimensions – military, economic, information/narrative and diplomacy. And the war is most intense on the economic front. But how long will the military proxy war and economic war continue, and will they broaden?

Categories
history

The World Crisis, 2022, A Personal Record

“Everyone was dreaming, ruminating, full of foreboding, feeling his way.” (Nikolai Sukhanov on February 1917 Russian Revolution). Does this not feel a lot like us today? Do we all not feel the world is unfolding in surprising directions, and among our more difficult tasks is to feel our own way through these events?

Categories
history Personal story What I am reading

Colour Revolution on a Chaise-Longue

I took to reading Catherine Merridale, Lenin on the Train (2016) this morning while reclining on a scarlet chaise-longue and bathing in autumnal sunshine. The cat was on my lap, but my attention kept slipping…. [Read More]

Categories
history the real world today

Podcast 51 (14 April 2022) War and Peace and the Conflict in Ukraine

War is terrible. War is troubling. War poses difficult questions for us all. This war in Ukraine, which is spreading globally through sanctions, bans, social media and slogans, presents those questions too. This episode of The Burning Archive responds to a listener question that just might help us get closer to peace, and that make […]

Categories
Flowers of the Mind history

Flowers of the Mind 24

So much of the history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is the tragic encounters of the elites of empires and ethno-linguistic national identities. We are seeing a new version of this struggle between confected social media national identities, concealing troubled and exclusive ethno-lingusitic reasoning, and collapsing imperial orders.