The first man in space was a country boy, a peasant born on a collective farm near the city of Smolensk. The first woman, too, was born a peasant, and raised by a widowed mother who worked at a cotton mill. The first man to walk on the moon was the son of an accountant – not quite peasant stock, but hardly a billionaire.
On Natalia Ginzburg’s Valentino, newly translated: a Q&A with Alexander Chee.
From the office of the future to the office of the past. What endures?
« Genocide Studies » is a house with many rooms. It accommodates and even encourages a broadening of its central concept. And like all academic fields, it presumes its object of study will always be there.
Nazarbayev, along with Mikhail Gorbachev, was among the few political leaders still hoping to keep the union together that autumn. Nazarbayev had been considered for the post of vice-president; he would have been the first Kazakh to be a heartbeat away from leading the USSR. He lost out to a Russian, Gennady Yanaev, who joined a conspiracy against Gorbachev in August 1991, ensuring that Gorbachev would be not just the first Soviet president but the last Soviet leader.