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Vineland (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
Thomas Pynchon
Tristes Tropiques
Claude Lévi-Strauss, Patrick Wilcken, John Weightman, Doreen Weightman
Richard III
William Shakespeare
The Dwarf
Alexandra Dick, Pär Lagerkvist
The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen, Cecil Day-Lewis
Labyrinths
Richard Wolin
Giotto to Dürer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery
Jill Dunkerton, Susan Foister, Dillian Gordon, Nicholas Penny
Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics
Hubert L. Dreyfus, Paul Rabinow
Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel
Steven Weisenburger
This I Cannot Forget: The Memoirs of Nikolai Bukharin's Widow - Anna Larina, Stephen F. Cohen Last night I read Stephen Cohen's brief introduction to this book, and want to recommend it. At least for someone like myself, who doesn't know much about this period - it was quite an eye-opener. Bukharin was apparently a quite remarkable man, and his influence has proven to be enormous, since it was Bukharin and the 'Right Deviationists', drawing their ideas from Lenin's NEP, who were the real inspiration behind the the peristroika of Gorbachev and, even more importantly -- for after all, Gorbachev failed... - for Deng.

I really should read a couple of good books on Stalin and and the Gulags and, more generally, on the two periods of 1921-1953, and on Khrushchev -- and so if anyone has any good ideas (hopefully not any of those 900 page tomes -- as I don't need to know the excruciating details of every unimplemented program, every trial, every luncheon negotiation), I'd be very grateful for any ideas -- either here or via inbox. (I already know the names/titles of many of the standard 900 pagers, for the most part)

I've decided not to read Larina's memoirs, which mostly cover the period of her marriage to Bukharin, until his imprisonment in Feb. 1937 (he was murdered on March 15, 1938 -- the day Hitler swept into Austria -- thus, deliberately ?? burying the story...??). She had little or no contact with him after his imprisonment. There is some, but not that much about her own experiences in exile and in the Gulag.

Bukharin -- like Serge -- was open to people of other political persuasions. He was an open and "zestful" man (Cohen). He was friends with Pasternak, and protected Mandelstam for a decade (though he could not save him). He was also an anti-fascist, who was urging an anti-Hitler alliance with the West during the 'thaw' of 1934-1936 (leading up to the period of Blum and the Popular Front in France: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Front_(France)).

Had he triumphed, rather than Stalin, there would have been no Hitler-Stalin pact, and Russia may have embarked on the type of modernization that we are observing in China today -- more than half a century ago. Of course, Russia does have cultural baggage that China lacks (religion..., and a deep cultural pessimism... "In Russia, there are no happy endings...."). Moreover..., the course of American politics and subsequent world events -- so thoroughly distorted by the Cold War and the paranoia of the Dulles' and all their many spawn... would have been quite different as well.... profoundly different, perhaps....

But none of that was to be....