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Preserving Petersburg: History, Memory, Nostalgia Paperback – June 13, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An interesting and important contribution to existing scholarship on St. Petersburg's myth, cult, and text. —Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, Barnard College A truly innovative contribution to the scholarship on Petersburg... The volume should be read by all serious Slavic scholars." —Emily Johnson, University of Oklahoma



"[A]n interesting and important contribution to existing scholarship on St. Petersburg's myth, cult, and text.... this volume is distinctive." —Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy



"[A]n excellent collection of essays... [T]he variety of subjects and methodologies gathered together here will certainly satisfy anyone interested in the study of the former imperial capital." —Journal of Modern History



This collection brings together history, literature, architecture, and the politics of memory. The essays Goscilo (literature, Univ. of Pittsburgh) and Norris (film, Miami Univ., Ohio) have gathered look at the image of St. Petersburg, past and present, with particular reference to the city as a "preserved" site, both in the sense of being cherished in memory and the more negative sense of being embalmed as a kind of open-air museum rather than a vibrant living city. Essays on Petersburg in literary texts, poetry, and the visual arts (by Goscilo, Julie Buckler, Zara Torlone, Vladimir Khazan) join historical articles by William Brumfield (who looks at architecture), Steve Duke (who discusses multi-ethnic Petersburg), Cynthia Simmons (memory of the siege in WW II), and Richard Stites (culture and memory, especially in the early 19th century). Norris analyzes recent portrayals of Petersburg in popular culture, including film. The book includes a number of excellent images (both photographs of the city and images of art works showing different aspects of Petersburg life). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.T. R. Weeks, Southern Illinois University, Choice, Feb. 2009



"As the various chapters of this fine volume make clear, seeing past the myth to the reality of the city's past and present remains as much of a challenge in the age of Putin as it was under Peter the Great and Nicholas I." —Slavonic & East European Review



"... the essays underscore the fact that for many Russians, Piter is a nostalgia museum, a sacred place. Preserving Petersburg will appeal... to scholars who are interested in the arts and those who are... familiar with the city’s history and monuments." —Michael Hamm, Centre College, H-Urban, Sept. 2009



"This book is an important addition to scholarship on Imperial Russia's prized capital city.... Though St. Petersburg has consistently defied theorisation throughout its history, Goscilo and Norris' innovative anthology provides Slavic scholars with a panoramic view of the city's literary, pictorial and social manifestations." —Europe-Asia Studies



"This collection brings together history, literature, architecture, and the politics of memory.... The book includes a number of excellent images (both photographs of the city and images of art works showing different aspects of Petersburg life). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." —Choice, February 2009



"This collection of essays about St. Petersburg is a fine contribution to memory studies, urban history, and public history.... Everyone looking for a stimulating encounter with St. Petersburg will find it here." —European History Quarterly



"A truly innovative contribution to the scholarship on Petersburg... The volume should be read by all serious Slavic scholars." —Emily Johnson, University of Oklahoma



"... the collection truly sparkles as the contributors each in turn take up this snuff box of a city... and breathe movement and life into the idealized Petersburg museum." —Slavic Review



"...will certainly introduce... students, to the more conventional delights of a city... which is better-known for inhabiting the tropes of 'museum city' and 'theater set'...." —Catriona Kelly, New College, Oxford, The Russian Review, Vol. 68.3 July 2009

From the Publisher

"An interesting and important contribution to existing scholarship on St. Petersburg's myth, cult, and text." --Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, Barnard College

"A truly innovative contribution to the scholarship on Petersburg . . . The volume should be read by all serious Slavic scholars." --Emily Johnson, University of Oklahoma


More About the Author

Stephen M. Norris is Professor of History at Miami University (OH), where he has taught since 2002. A native of Alton, IL, he studied history at Millikin University (Decatur, IL) and the University of Virginia. His teaching and writing focus on modern Russian history.

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