Monthly Archives: January 2013

Revolution 1989 The Fall of the Soviet Empire by Victor Sebestyen

This is a well-written account of the end of the Soviet Empire in Europe. It supports my general theory that journalists write good history books. I would say that this is a good supplement to Tony Judt’s Postwar, obviously it is much narrower in scope, but it has a lot of detail and provides plenty of thought and analysis.

Kit gave this to me for Christmas.

A Hero of our Time by Mikhail Lermontov

I’ve read this many times since my teens, this is the most recent. I started it partly because the book was small enough to fit into my pocket on a trip to London.

I find the general romantic anti-hero tone of the book very compelling. The idea of a duel fought on the edge of a cliff (to avoid detection), seems incredible.

Also the mix of stories almost in a jumble seems to add authenticity. I find the latter short-story ‘The Fatalist’ fascinating. The idea of seeing death written on someone’s face they day they will die seems quaintly anti-rational.