Have Personality Disorder, Will Rule Russia: An Iconoclastic History by a Recovering Russophile
“I always imagine Russian history,” suggests American writer and veteran expatriate, Jennifer Eremeeva, “on a huge, 3D IMAX screen, surround sound booming with a jumbo bucket of popcorn in your lap and huge blue drink at your side.” Eremeeva should know: as a former tour guide and Ivy League-educated historian, Eremeeva is adept at making Russia’s complex history both entertaining and digestible for non-academics. She strolls expertly but lightly through her material, tracing the winning formula for Russia’s effective rulers back to the Tatar Mongols: revealing why Ivan may not have been so Terrible; explaining why Catherine so totally awesome; and asserting that neither Peter the Great nor Stalin would ever tweet anything.
Eremeeva encourages us to peek inside Empress Elizabeth’s baroque boudoir; she deconstructs Gorbachev’s curiously-split personality, and shows us exactly where the bodies are buried. Eremeeva’s unique fusion of humor and history, and inimitable writing style brings the riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma that is Russia into hilarious focus in this compact and highly readable guide to thirteen centuries of her history.
Fans of Eremeeva’s blogs, columns, and her full-length book, Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow are sure to enjoy this further exploration of Russia’s soft and hilarious underbelly. For readers embarking on a visit to Russia or an exploration of the country’s rich literature and culture, Have Personality Disorder, Will Rule Russia offers a succinct, informative, and highly entertaining introduction to the country’s complex and expansive history.
To download Jennifer Eremeeva’s recommendations for further reading about medieval and imperial Russia, the Romanovs, and current events in the Russian Federation, visit www.jennifereremeeva.com/russianreadinglist.
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