David Remnick is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lenin’s Tomb, The Devil Problem and Other True Stories, and Resurrection. He is the editor of The New Yorker.

IN THE REVIEW

How Russia Is Ruled

Boris Yel'tsin: Ot Rassveta do Zakata (Boris Yeltsin: From Dawn to Dusk)

by Aleksandr Korzhakov

The Russian Intelligentsia

by Andrei Sinyavsky, translated by Lynn Visson
If we have learned anything from the strange and epic story of Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin these past ten years it is that no tsar is hero to his bodyguard. Or not for long, anyway. We know this because, in the new tradition of Russian politics, the bodyguard in question has …

On Murray Kempton (1917–1997)

Murray Kempton wrote about eleven thousand newspaper columns in his time, and, like all practitioners of the trade, he devoted a fair percentage of them to the deflation of the pompous and the unmasking of the fake. Early in the campaign of 1992, he determined Bill Clinton to be a …

Laughter in the Dark

At His Side: The Last Years of Isaac Babel

by A.N. Pirozhkova
If Saint Peter should ever locate the keys to the Lubyanka and release all the writers slaughtered there, the only shade in the procession likely to be wearing a smile would be Isaac Emmanuilovich Babel. As his second wife, Antonina Pirozhkova, tells us, “Babel ascribed great importance to merriment.” “What …

Hammer, Sickle, and Book

Za Gorizontom (Beyond the Horizon)

by Gennady Zyuganov

Veru v Rossiyu (I Believe in Russia)

by Gennady Zyuganov
The imagery of triumph and even comedy that attended the events of August 1991 in Russia comforted, and ultimately deceived, the world. The men of the Communist Party, the Army, and the KGB who had tried to seize power in the name of Leninist principles and imperial preservation betrayed their …

Notes From Underground

The Ransom of Russian Art

by John McPhee
The big year for the New Journalism was 1965. (A Journal of the Plague Year, Homage to Catalonia, and even Joseph Mitchell’s foretaste of the postmodern, Joe Gould’s Secret, had been published before this momentous date, but that wasn’t the point. “New” was the point.) In the spring, Tom Wolfe …

Getting Russia Right

The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia, 1917-1991

by Martin Malia
The fall of Sovietology was as cruel as it was quick. One may reasonably restrain one’s sympathy for the displaced men of the Central Committee, but it is a stunning thing to see what the collapse has done to professors on university faculties—to the historians, the political scientists, the sociologists—who …

Le Carré’s New War

The Night Manager

by John le Carré
The end of the cold war is a hard bargain. Certainly it is an advantage to mankind that our chances of being vaporized into radioactive mist have been reduced considerably, and yet, on the debit side, we have lost one of the greatest characters in the history of the espionage …

The Counterrevolutionary

Sto Sorok Besed s Molotovym (One Hundred Forty Talks with Molotov)

by Feliks Chuyev

Inside Gorbachev's Kremlin: The Memoirs of Yegor Ligachev

by Yegor Ligachev, translated by Catherine A. Fitzpatrick and Michele A. Berdy and Dobrochna Dyrcz-Freeman
In the years after his overthrow, Nikita Khrushchev sat with a boxy reel-to-reel tape recorder and dictated his memoirs for hours at a time. To avoid the listening devices he knew had been planted in his house, he worked at first outside his dacha in Petrovo-Dalneye. One can hear on …