To Break Russia's Chains

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Vladimir Alexandrov
  • About the Professor

Vladimir Alexandrov

Vladimir Alexandrov grew up in New York City in a Russian émigré family, planning to be a scientist from an early age. However, after getting a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Geology, he decided to study literature and the humanities, resulting in a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton. After teaching in the Slavic Department at Harvard, he moved to Yale's Slavic Department in 1986, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature and culture (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Bely, among other writers and topics) until retiring in 2018 to write full time. While preparing to teach a graduate seminar on Russian émigré culture, he discovered Frederick Bruce Thomas, and wrote The Black Russian, about an African American who led an extraordinary life in Russia and Turkey in the early twentieth century. This book is now being developed into a dramatic TV series. He then turned his attention to the controversial Russian revolutionary Boris Savinkov, who is the subject of To Break Russia's Chains. Professor Alexandrov has written several academic books, including Limits to Interpretation: The Meanings of Anna Karenina. His next project will focus on Lincoln and Russia.

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To Break Russia's Chains



A brilliant examination of the enigmatic Russian revolutionary. Winston Churchill once said few men tried more, gave more, dared more, and suffered more for the Russian people. He remains a legendary & controversial figure in his homeland today.

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