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A Long Walk To Church: A Contemporary History Of Russian Orthodoxy Second Edition Paperback – February 28, 2003


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A Long Walk To Church: A Contemporary History Of Russian Orthodoxy Second Edition + The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretative History of Russian Culture (Vintage)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press; Second Edition edition (February 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813340675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813340678
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A meticulous and important study...nuanced and novel." -- Religious Studies Review

"A richly detailed, highly informative, and immensely readable book on the contemporary history of the Russian Orthodox Church." -- American Historical Review

"A work of art. Likely to become the enduring, definitive work on the subject." -- William C. Fletcher, author of Soviet Believers

"An admirable piece of scholarship unusually combined with a very elegant style." -- The Journal of Religion

"For the general reader interested in religion in Russia...this is now the best book." Foreign Affairs -- Foreign Affairs

"Nowhere has there been assembled in a single book so much important information about the Russian Orthodox Church since [WWII]." -- New York Times Book Review

"Quite accessible to undergraduates who want an introduction to the history of the Russian church in the twentieth century." -- The Russian Review

"Solid scholarship... The narrative is smooth, and the book easily read." -- The Historian

"This book provides an invaluable introduction to the experience of the Russian Orthodox Church since 1917." -- John Anderson, University of St. Andrews-Fife

About the Author

Nathaniel Davis is the Alexander and Adelaide Hixon Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Harvey Mudd College. He served in the U.S. Foreign Service for thirty-six years, in Moscow, as assistant secretary of state, as ambassador in three posts, and as Lyndon B. Johnson's senior advisor on Soviet and Eastern European affairs.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christian Moulton on January 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book will open your eyes to what the real issues were, when and where for the Russian Orthodox Church in the 20th century. Davis is relatively sympathetic to the ROC, but he doesn't hold any punches when there IS a criticism to be made. Davis spends quite a bit of time crunching numbers, but he also takes the time for anecdotal descriptions, too. This is very readable and insightful! Side note: He seems a little naive and starry-eyed about Gorbachev's support for the Church, but that might just be my reading too much into it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Mosher on October 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're interested in what's going on in the church in Russia today, Davis provides both the background and the contemporary perspective. Thoroughly annotated with 100 pages of end notes, this book combines statistical analysis of the church's fluctuating fortunes with reports from Communist and other annals and Davis' own observations from visits to hundreds of churches.

Its academic approach, while thorough, makes it less accessible to the casual reader interested in the subject, which is why I gave it only 3 stars. I'd like to see Davis return to this subject with a book aimed at the general reader. Based on my visits to 4 Moscow churches within walking distance of each other and to a couple of Old Believers churches, I think there's a story waiting to be told of the variety of approaches to Orthodox belief and practice that are active in Russia today.
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