Today my wife sent me to the bookstore to buy books that will be her New Year present to me. A common and very comfortable practice in our family :).
I spent about three hours in the bookstore and here's my choice:
First, the three volumes of "The Russian Revolution" by Richard Pipes. I've heard a lot about Pipes and read some interviews with him, but never read his books. If what I read is true, I strongly disagree with the Pipes' views of Russia and Russian history. Moreover, I think that our concepts of democracy are irreconcilable. Okay, I know, I am not a specialist in political studies, nor in the history of democracy and he, probably, knows better. This way or the other, his book on the Russian revolution is one of the most authoritative studies in this area. Russian historians have not produced anything comparable with this book yet and I am sure it will provide a lot of information to think about.
Second, there are two books from a new series "The witnesses of the epoch". The first one is the recollections of Katerina Breshko-Breshkovskaya, a participant of the early revolutionary movement. The book was published in English under the title "The Hidden Springs of the Russian Revolution". It covers the period from 1873 till 1920. She tells the story of her own life and analyzes the failures and achievements of the socialist movement in Russia.
The second book from the same series is "The Great Russian Revolution" by Victor Chernov, a minister in the Provisional Government and the chairman of the Constituent Assembly. I hope this book will help me understand the causes of the revolution better.
And, finally, "The Medieval Venice" (Venise au Moyen Age) by Jean-Claude Hocquet. About a year ago I tried to find books about the Italian "maritime republics" and, at last, here's one of such books. I am very curious about these formations — how did they function, were they really republics, what was the role of the educated people in these countries?
Unfortunately, I will have to wait till the New Year before I manage to peek into these books :).
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it and those who don't!