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News

Ivan Fedorov and Implementation of the Civil Type: April Anniversaries in the Richard Stites Memorial Historical Library

The Centre for Historical Research and the HSE in St Petersburg Bachelor's Programme 'History' accomplish the joint students' project on promoting the Richard Stites Memorial Historical Library

455 years ago, in April 1563, the printing house of the first printer Ivan Fyodorov started working in Moscow, and began the printing the first Russian printed book, "The Apostle". A century and a half later, in 1708, Peter the Great introduced the Civic font, which further brought the Russian state closer to Europe.
April report by Alina Nazmitdinova:

Michael T. Florinsky, Russia; a history and interpretation, 1960
Signature:  947 F69

In this book, the famous Russian historian Mikhail Florinsky tried to reflect in such a small volume the all Russian history from the earliest times until the end of March 1918. The first volume of the book, and in the case of a copy from the library  of Richard Stites, the first part of "Russia: History and Interpretation" from the best domestic books on the early history of Russia, beginning with the arrival of the Vikings in the IX century and ending with Peter and his reforms. Despite the relatively small volume of the book, Florinsky tries not to miss anything important. Paying much attention to Peter, he wrote about the reform of the Russian typographic font, which had a huge impact on the language and on its development.


 

Mirsky D.S., A History of Russian Literature: From Its Beginnings to 1900, 1958
Signature
:  890 M74

Russian literature has always been inseparable from Russian history. D. S. Mirsky's book «A History of Russian Literature» is essential reading for anyone interested in one of the world's great literatures. The author pays attention to all areas of Russian literature: classicism, sentimentalism, romanticism, realism and modernism in all trends (from symbolism and acmeism to futurism and imagism). He does not just write about literary figures, publicists, critics and journalists, poets of the Golden and Silver Ages, novelists and playwrights, but also about people who were engaged in literary work, including Ivan Fyodorov, the first book printer. The author also offers his own concepts for the development of the connection between Russian literature and history. Nabokov called "The History of Russian Literature" "the best history of Russian literature in any language, including Russian," which can not be disagreed, considering not only the author's profound knowledge of literature and history, but also his passion, talent and experience.

Herbert J. Ellison, History of Russia, 1964
Signature
:  947 E46

An interesting fact is that the "History of Russia" was written by an American, Herbert Ellison, who was considered among the world's leading figures in the field of Soviet and post-Soviet studies. This, of course, is felt in the style in which the book was written. Like the other well-known Ellison book (Boris Yeltsin and the Democratic Transformation of Russia, 2006 / Boris Yeltsin and Russia's Democratic Transformation), in History of Russia the most accessible language describes events that it might be difficult for Americans to understand if they were written another language. Despite the fact that the book was written during the Cold War, Russian history is not distorted from this process, and are prized extremely honestly. Allison was a specialist in the Soviet and post-Soviet space, but nevertheless he wrote about the tsarist period of the history of Russia, mentioning not only the kings and their transformations, but also their contemporaries.

Sir Bernard Pares, A history of Russia, 1958
Signature947 P25

In his book, Bernard Pearce describes the difficult and complex, but so fascinating history of Russia through the personality of the kings and their achievements. With the help of this book, with the author we travel through the centuries in a grand, in all aspects, country, whose boundaries have constantly changed. The author makes a special emphasis on the XVIII and XIX centuries, moving from the time of Peter's reforms to Karamzin, to the period of his productive work for the benefit of Russia, and then, finally, to the time of Russia becoming one of the advanced European powers, but its peculiarity not only in this. A glance at Russian history of the British historian gives a certain charm to the entire narrative process. Comparing the work of Pearce with the work of his Russian colleagues, we can get a complete picture of the unique history of Russia.