Soviet Turkmenistan

P. Kosyrev – Soviet Turkmenistan A 1956 medium-size celebration of the great Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, now a slightly terrifying petro-tyranny that could teach Stalin himself how to run a cult of personality.  But back in the good old days a land of tankers and buses.   Lovely dustjacket, embossed cover and ethnically-appropriate designs throughout, […]

Read more "Soviet Turkmenistan"

Views of the USSR

Views of the USSR A photo album of natural wonders from across the Soviet Union.  Published by the Foreign Language Publishing House, not dated, but it looks to be from the late ’50s or ’60s.  The photos are organized by region, each region starting with a beautiful black ink illustration, on a coloured paper, something I’ve […]

Read more "Views of the USSR"

Physics for Entertainment

Y. Perelman – Physics for Entertainment, Book 1 A very attractive children’s popular science book from the Foreign Language Publishing House, designed by L. Lamm.  Full of great line drawing illustrations. I’m sure this book will bring back fond memories for some readers, some who even wore the pioneer’s kerchief.

Read more "Physics for Entertainment"

The Storm

Ilya Ehrenburg – The Storm I have finally finished The Storm, a very good book that took me an unusually long time to get through.  This is a very well-written socialist realist novel, indeed at times it is hard to believe this book ever had a place in the Stalinist cannon.  A good book. This […]

Read more "The Storm"


Vladimir Obruchev – Plutonia Another early Soviet science fiction classic by Obruchev.  And another hidden-world story located somewhere in the ‘north’, where Russians could hide anything.  The book focuses mostly on dinosaurs and other ancient species.  This is also an undated Foreign Language Publishing House effort.  Great cover: The book is designed by D. Bisti, […]

Read more "Plutonia"

Volokolamsk Highway

Alexander Bek – Volokolamsk Highway Now here’s a beautiful book.  Originally written in 1944, the story of the the defense of Moscow.  Re-issued in the late 40s or early ‘fifities by the Foreign Language Publishing House.  Designed by A. Livanov.   There aren’t many illustrations within the book, but the two there are are fantastic:

Read more "Volokolamsk Highway"