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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 EXRUS194. Buy these 4 items as a set for $74 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, $20.00)

Fodor's Moscow and St. Petersburg

Fodor's Moscow and St. Petersburg

by Salwa Jabado

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

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

Eastern Europe Map

Eastern Europe Map

by Freytag & Berndt

  • 2013
  • MAP

A detailed travel map of Eastern Europe and the Black Sea, at a scale of 1:2,000,000. (EUR36, $14.95)

 
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)

St. Petersburg Map

St. Petersburg Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2013
  • MAP

A detailed, laminated city plan at a scale of 1:11,000. (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)

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)

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)

Red Fortress, History and Illusion in the Kremlin

Red Fortress, History and Illusion in the Kremlin


by Catherine Merridale

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES

Drawing on the archives of the Kremlin itself, Merridale uses the great fortress, which dates from the 15th century, as a lens, covering the history of Russia from its obscure origins through the times of figures including Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Lenin and Stalin. (RUS501, $25.00)

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)

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, A Very Short Introduction

The Russian Revolution, A Very Short Introduction


by S. A. Smith

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 199 PAGES

A concise, provocative summary of events in Russia between 1917 and 1939. (RUS39, $11.95)

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, $20.00)

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 Empress of Art, Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia

The Empress of Art, Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia


by Susan Jaques

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 384 PAGES

In her magisterial biography of Russian czarina Catherine the Great, Susan Jaques shows how the leader modernized Russia through a ravenous acquisition of art -- a visionary idea that put Catherine far ahead of her time. (RUS573, $35.00)

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, $17.00)

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, $16.00)

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.