Two recent books about Soviet history help answer questions raised by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine: What is wrong with Russia and why, despite two decades of optimistic predictions that it was on track to become a "normal" country, has it never become one?
"Open Secrets", by Hendrik Hertzberg; "Letting Go", by Atul Gawande; "Stuck", by Keith Gessen; "Postmadern Men", by Teddy Wayne; and "Spy Vs. Spy", by David Denby.
A charming yet scathing portrait of young adulthood at the opening of the 21st century, All the Sad Young Literary Men charts the lives of Sam, Mark, and Keith as they overthink their college years, underthink their love lives, and struggle through the encouragement of the women who love and despise them to find a semblance of maturity, responsibility, and even literary fame.
"Boring, Self-Indulgent Whine of a Novel"
"Team Spirit", by Adam Gopnik; "Waiting for War", by Keith Gessen; "The End of Food", by Lizzie Widdicombe; "Pure Evil", by Lee Siegel; and "Road Trips", by Anthony Lane.
"In Funds We Trust?", by James Surowiecki; "Polar Express", by Keith Gessen; "The Pale King", by Bill Wyman; and "In the Rough", by Sasha Frere-Jones.