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Description - Letters From Russia by Anka Muhlstein

The Marquis de Custine's record of his trip to Russia in 1839 is a brilliantly perceptive, even prophetic, account of one of the world's most fascinating and troubled countries. It is also a wonderful piece of travel writing. Custine, who met with people in all walks of life, including the Czar himself, offers vivid descriptions of St. Petersburg and Moscow, of life at court and on the street, and of the impoverished Russian countryside. But together with a wealth of sharply delineated incident and detail, Custine's great work also presents an indelible picture-roundly denounced by both Czarist and Communist regimes-of a country crushed by despotism and "intoxicated with slavery." Letters from Russia, here published in a new edition prepared by Anka Muhlstein, the author of the Goncourt Prize-winning biography of Custine, stands with Tocqueville's Democracy in America as a profound and passionate encounter with historical forces that are still very much at work in the world today.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780940322813
ISBN-10: 0940322811
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 128mm x 35mm)
Pages: 672
Imprint: NYRB Classics
Publisher: The New York Review of Books, Inc
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Anka Muhlstein

Astolphe de Custine (1790-1857) was born at the onset of the French Revolution and died under the Second Empire. His father was guillotined and he and his mother barely survived the Terror. A poet and novelist of slight repute, Custine gained recognition with the publication of the travel books Spain under Ferdinand VII and Letters from Russia, an enduring analysis of the roots and character of Russian despotism. Anka Muhlstein was born in Paris in 1935. She settled in New York in 1974 where she began her career as a writer in French. She was awarded the Goncourt Prize in 1996 for her biography of Custine, and has twice received the History Prize of the French Academy.

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