Soviet Union

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy proposed the nation spend twenty billion dollars to land a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Based on eyewitness accounts and newly discovered archival material, "Chasing the Moon" by Robert Stone and Alan Andres, reveals for the first time the unknown stories of the fascinating individuals whose imaginative work across several decades culminated in America’s momentous achievement.

More than a story of engineers and astronauts, the moon landing, now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, grew out of the dreams of science fiction writers, filmmakers, military geniuses, and rule-breaking scientists.

"In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia's Eleven Time Zones" is Nina Khrushcheva and Jeffrey Tayler’s unique combination of travelogue, current affairs, and history, showing how Russia’s dimensions have shaped its identity and culture through the decades.

With exclusive insider status as Nikita Khrushchev’s great grand-daughter, and an ex-pat living and reporting on Russia and the Soviet Union since 1993, Nina Khrushcheva and Jeffrey Tayler offer a poignant exploration of the largest country on earth through their recreation of Vladimir Putin’s fabled New Year’s Eve speech planned across all eleven time zones.

The Hubbard Hall production of "I Am My Own Wife" by Doug Wright runs March 8–17. The Pulitzer Prize winning drama focuses on the true story of a transgender woman's survival of both Nazi and Soviet regimes and her experience of history in the making.

To tell us more we welcome the director Trey Morehouse, actor Rylan Morsbach and Hubbard Hall Artistic and Executive Director David Snider.

What happened in 1983 to make the Soviet Union so afraid of a potential nuclear strike from the United States that they sent mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles into the field, placing them on a three-minute alert?

In his book, "The Brink: President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983," Marc Ambinder explains the anxious period between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1982 to 1984, with the “Able Archer ’83” war game as the fulcrum of the tension. With astonishing and clarifying new details, he recounts the scary series of the close encounters that tested the limits of ordinary humans and powerful leaders alike. Ambinder explains how political leadership ultimately triumphed over misunderstandings, helping the two countries maintain a fragile peace.

Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. A leading authority on Eastern Europe, he has lived and taught in Ukraine, Canada, and the United States.

On the morning of April 26, 1986, Europe witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine. Dozens died of radiation poisoning, fallout contaminated half the continent, and thousands fell ill.

In "Chernobyl," Serhii Plokhy draws on new sources to tell the dramatic stories of the firefighters, scientists, and soldiers who heroically extinguished the nuclear inferno. He lays bare the flaws of the Soviet nuclear industry, tracing the disaster to the authoritarian character of Communist party rule, the regime's control of scientific information, and its emphasis on economic development over all else.

Lisa Dickey traveled across the whole of Russia three times - in 1995, 2005 and 2015 - making friends in eleven different cities, then coming back again and again to see how their lives had changed. Like the acclaimed British documentary series Seven Up!, she traces the ups and downs of ordinary people’s lives, in the process painting a deeply nuanced portrait of modern Russia.

Her book is Bears in the Streets: Three Journeys across a Changing Russia.

Andrew Solomon will be at Oblong Books on 5/14.   (This interview names the incorrect date for the event.)

  Far and Away collects Andrew Solomon’s writings about places undergoing seismic shifts—political, cultural, and spiritual.

Chronicling his stint on the barricades in Moscow in 1991, when he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet Union, his 2002 account of the rebirth of culture in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban, his insightful appraisal of a Myanmar seeped in contradictions as it slowly, fitfully pushes toward freedom, and many other stories of profound upheaval, this book provides a unique window onto the very idea of social change.

In the strange reversal of circumstances that have taken place since the Sochyi Olympics seemed to have breathed new vitality into a lifeless Soviet cadaver, this commentator intuits and fears the possible return to times we all could and should have done without.