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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bons Mots And Bad Boys

More and more history texts are being published that are potentially interesting for Russian and foreign readers alike. Some of the better picks include: Observations About Russia and Russians: First to 17th Centuries is Sergei Ivanov's collection of a thousand bons mots penned by over 100 Russian and foreign writers. Included is everyone from contemporary academician Sergei Averintsev to German Henrik Shtaden, a close associate of Ivan the Terrible. The 400-page Progress hardcover sells for around 4,000 rubles ($2). Fontanka 16: The title is the address of the 19th-century headquarters of the Russian secret police in St. Petersburg. The book, co-written in Russian by professor Charles Rood of the University of Western Ontario and historian Sergei Stepanov, is subtitled "Political Detection in the Time of the Tsars" and is one of the most comprehensive histories of this notorious organization. Published by Mysl, this 432-page hardcover also sells for around 4,000 rubles. Behind the Curtains of the 'Ministry of Truth': The Secret History of Soviet Censorship, 1917-1929. Russian writer Arlen Blum's work is the first book ever published in this country on the subject. The 320-page hardcover, issued by Akademichesky Pro-yekt, is on sale for 3,500 rubles. My Father, Lavrenti Beria, issued in hardcover by Sovremennik, is selling well despite its price of 20,000 rubles. Historians have yet to pronounce their verdict on the proportions of fact and fiction in the book, which details the life of the notorious head of the secret police who was executed as a British intelligence agent after Stalin's death.