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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Waterways of Russia

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXRUS149. Buy these 4 items as a set for $70 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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Russia of the Tsars

Russia of the Tsars

by Peter Waldron

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

Waldron recounts the exploits of Peter the Great, the Tsars and the splendor of their capital city, St. Petersburg, in this lively, well-illustrated and compact overview of the largest and most diverse empire of its day. (RUS462, $24.95)

Russian Short Stories

Russian Short Stories

by Robert Chandler

  • LITERATURE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 396 PAGES

This fine collection of tales captures the sweep and soul of Russian literature, including works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Tolstoy along with lesser-known greats. (RUS288, $18.00)

Russian History, A Very Short Introduction

Russian History, A Very Short Introduction

by Geoffrey Hosking

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 154 PAGES

The noted scholar and historian Hosking ("Russia and the Russians" RUS208) covers the transformation of Russia from its pagan roots into a multi-ethnic empire in this remarkably concise shirt-pocket history. (RUS480, $11.95)

Fodor's Moscow and St. Petersburg

Fodor's Moscow and St. Petersburg

by Salwa Jabado

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

With solid practical information on sights, excursions, restaurants, hotels and nightlife and a chapter on the cities of the Golden Ring. (RUS03, $19.99)

 
Moscow Map

Moscow Map


by ITMB

  • 2011
  • MAP

A folded map of Moscow, its subway system and surrounding neighborhoods at the broad scale of 1:50,000, with a detailed map of the city center at 1:12,500. (RUS151, $11.95)

Russia's Heritage Cities

Russia's Heritage Cities


by International Travel Maps

  • 2002
  • MAP
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

A map of the Golden Ring cities surrounding Moscow, at a scale of 1:500,000. (RUS217, $8.95)

St. Petersburg Map

St. Petersburg Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2012
  • MAP

A detailed, laminated city plan. (RUS89, $9.95)

Culture Smart! Russia

Culture Smart! Russia


by Anna King

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice. (RUS361, $9.95)

Eyewitness Guide St. Petersburg

Eyewitness Guide St. Petersburg


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 264 PAGES

With excellent local maps and site plans, this outstanding visual guide introduces the culture, history and attractions of St. Petersburg. (RUS87, $25.00)

Lonely Planet Russian Phrasebook

Lonely Planet Russian Phrasebook


by James Jenkin | Inna Zaitseva

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

A handy shirtpocket phrasebook for Russian basics focusing on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler. (RUS111, $8.99)

A Traveller's History of Russia

A Traveller's History of Russia


by Peter Neville

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

An impressively compact, lively survey of Russian history from the coming of the Slavs to the collapse of the Soviet Union. (RUS47, $14.95)

Land of the Firebird, The Beauty of Old Russia

Land of the Firebird, The Beauty of Old Russia


by Suzanne Massie

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 496 PAGES
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

Massie traces both minuscule details and larger movements in pre-revolutionary Russian art, literature and daily life in this affectionate overview of 19th-century palaces, courts and culture. (RUS21, $35.00)

Lenin's Tomb

Lenin's Tomb


by David Remnick

  • HISTORY
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 588 PAGES

A gripping eyewitness tale of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Remnick, the Washington Post reporter on the scene, combines fine historical scholarship with great storytelling. (RUS07, $18.00)

Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia

Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia


by W. Bruce Lincoln

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 432 PAGES

A wonderfully written, informative portrait of St. Petersburg, focusing on the city's development in the 18th and 19th centuries as Russia's "window on the West." Highly recommended for travelers with an interest in the character and significance of the city and its monuments. (RUS128, $19.95)

The Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution


by Sheila Fitzpatrick

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 199 PAGES

A concise provocative summary of events in Russia between 1917 and 1939. Fitzpatrick makes an admirable effort to rescue from politics the greatest upheaval of modern times and reclaim it for history. (RUS39, $19.95)

Vodka, A Global History

Vodka, A Global History


by Patricia Herlihy

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • HARD COVER
  • 128 PAGES

A professor of history at Brown, Herlihy tracks our fascination with this most versatile of spirits from its mysterious 14th-century Slavic origins to today's global dominance in this brief yet thoroughly entertaining, erudite and illustrated history. A volume in the lively Edible History Series. (RUS475, $17.00)

The Summer Palaces of the Romanovs

The Summer Palaces of the Romanovs


by Emman Ducamp

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2012
  • HARD COVER
  • 360 PAGES

Gloriously photographed by Marc Walter, this sumptuous book showcases the art, architecture, gardens, palaces and pavilions of the grand summer retreat of the Tsars. (RUS489, $100.00)

Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great


by Robert K. Massie

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 625 PAGES

Eager readers of Massie's Nicholas and Alexandria or the Pulitzer Prize-winning Peter the Great will not be disappointed by this latest, an old-fashioned tale of politics, power and 18th-century Europe, drawing effectively from the ambitious Catherine's own memoirs. (RUS470, $20.00)

Peter the Great, His Life and World

Peter the Great, His Life and World


by Robert Massie

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 914 PAGES

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Massie portrays the giant of history who transformed Russia from backwater tsardom into a major empire. (RUS48, $21.00)

Speak, Memory

Speak, Memory


by Vladimir Nabokov

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 316 PAGES

Nabokov's richly imagined memoir wonderfully evokes cultural life among the well-to-do in turn-of-the-century St. Petersburg. Nabokov called his childhood home, now a museum off St Isaac's Square, "the only house in the world." (RUS28, $16.00)

The Man Without a Face, The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

The Man Without a Face, The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin


by Masha Gessen

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 313 PAGES

A Russian-American journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen demolishes the many myths and legends surrounding Vladimir Putin and his transformation from unexceptional KGB bureaucrat to the most powerful man in Russia. No fan of the man, who she calls a "hoodlum turned iron-handed ruler," Gessen is brave -- and optimistic that his time will soon come. (RUS485, $16.00)

City of Thieves

City of Thieves


by David Benioff

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

David Benioff (screenwriter for "The Kite Runner" and "Wolverine") turns his grandfather's stories of surviving the infamous Siege of Leningrad into a wise and touching coming of age novel that's hard to put down. Seventeen-year-old Lev and his charismatic buddy Koly are sent out by their German captors to bring back a dozen eggs, just the start of a gripping odyssey. (RUS380, $16.00)

The Winter Queen

The Winter Queen


by Boris Akunin | Andrew Bromfield

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 249 PAGES

Akunin sets a suspected murder among the glitterati of late 19th-century Moscow in this first book in the series of clever detective novels starring the rascal Erast Fandorin, wildly popular in Russia. (RUS210, $15.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.