Dispatches from Russia

Some little while ago, I found myself sitting in the grounds of the Danilov Monastery in Moscow, delighting in the spring flowers and being treated to a prodigious display of bell-ringing. I reflected at the time that the Russians have few peers among other nations in their great love for church . . . . Continue Reading »

The Age of Concentration

Many regard Russia as backward, lagging behind the West. This is not so. Our shared civilization is changing, and because of our raw experience of the twentieth century, my country is in some respects ahead of the West. I have described the coming epoch as a new medievalism (“The New Middle . . . . Continue Reading »

The Dark Russian

Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs by douglas smith farrar, straus and giroux, 848 pages, $35 The Okhrana, the czar’s secret police, gave him the code name “the Dark One”—not only because he was mysterious, but also because his influence on Russia was so baleful. Except . . . . Continue Reading »

Spiritual Freedom

On the outskirts of Moscow, there is an Orthodox Christian memorial. The site, known as Butovo, once belonged to a private estate. The Soviets expropriated the land after the revolution and turned it into a firing range. It was there during Stalin’s purges that more than 20,000 “enemies of the . . . . Continue Reading »