Recent Acquisitions in the Ellison Center Outreach Collection
The Ellison Center is pleased to present a selection of the most recent additions to our outreach materials collection. Films, teaching guides, educational software packages, reference texts and other resources are available for two-week checkout to students, faculty, staff and K-12 teachers. For more information, including a complete listing of available materials, visit the Ellison Center in 203B Thomson Hall, University of Washington; telephone us at (206) 543-4852; email email@example.com; or check our website: http://jsis.washington.edu/ellison/.
The Pearl: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in Catherine the Great’s Russia
Douglas Smith (Yale University Press).
The Pearl tells a true tale, reconstructed in part from archival documents that have lain untouched for centuries. Author Douglas Smith presents the most complete and accurate account ever written of the illicit love between Count Nicholas Sheremetev (1751-1809), Russia’s richest aristocrat, and Praskovia Kovalyova (1768-1803), his serf and the greatest opera diva of her time. Blessed with a beautiful voice, Praskovia began her training in Nicholas’s operatic company as a young girl. The book reconstructs Praskovia’s stage career as “The Pearl” and the heartbreaking details of her romance with Nicholas – years of torment before their secret marriage, the outrage of the aristocracy when news of the marriage emerged, Praskovia’s death only days after delivering a son, and the unyielding despair that followed Nicholas to the end of his life. Written with grace and style, The Pearl sheds light on the world of the Russian aristocracy, music history, and Russian serfdom.
Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment
Stephen Kotkin (Modern Library)
Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell. In one of modern history’s most miraculous occurrences, communism imploded – not with a bang, but with a whimper. In this book, two of the foremost scholars of East European and Soviet affairs, Stephen Kotkin and Jan T. Gross, drawing upon two decades of reflection, revisit this crash. In a crisp, concise, unsentimental narrative, they employ three case studies – East Germany, Romania, and Poland – to illuminate what led Communist regimes to surrender, or to be swept away in political bank runs. This is less a story of dissidents, so-called civil society, than of the bankruptcy of a ruling class – communism’s establishment, or “uncivil society.” The Communists borrowed from the West to buy mass consumer goods, then were unable to pay back the hard-currency debts, and so borrowed even more. In Eastern Europe, communism came to resemble a Ponzi scheme, one whose implosion carries enduring lessons. From East Germany’s pseudotechnocracy to Romania’s megalomaniacal dystopia, from Communist Poland’s cult of Mary to the Kremlin’s surprise restraint, Kotkin and Gross pull back the curtain on the fraud and decadence that cashiered the would-be alternative to the market and democracy.
(Ages 8 -18)
Andre Grau (Dorling Kindersley)
Step-by-step sequences and glorious full-color photographs offer a unique "eyewitness" view of dance traditions, including the magical performances, stunning costumes and extraordinary talent of dancers. See a ballet costume designed by Picasso, dancers who balance on stilts, and headdresses studded with gemstones. Learn why male dancers sometimes dress as women, the stories of the great classical ballets, and why the tango was banned. Discover why Javanese dancers "flow like water," see dance crazes from the last 100 years, witness the dervishes who whirl around in worship and more.