Siberia: A Cultural History

Paperback | November 15, 2010

byA. J. Haywood

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Before Russians crossed the Urals Mountains in the sixteenth century to settle their "colony" in North Asia, they heard rumors about bountiful fur, of bizarre people without eyes who ate by shrugging their shoulders and of a land where trees exploded from cold. This region of frozen tundra,endless forest, and humming steppe between the Urals and the Pacific Ocean was a vast, strange, and frightening paradise. It was Siberia.Siberia is a cradle of civilizations, the birthplace of ancient Turkic empires and home to the cultures of indigenes, including peoples whose ancestors migrated to the Americas. It was a promised land to which bonded peasants could flee their cruel masters, yet also a snow-covered "white hell"across which exiles shuffled in felt shoes and chains. In Stalin's era, Siberia became synonymous with the gulag; today, it is a vast region of bustling metropolises and magnificent landscapes: a place where the humdrum, the beautiful, and the bizarre ignite the imagination. Tracing the historicalcontours of Siberia, A. J. Haywood offers a detailed account of the architectural and cultural landmarks of cities such as Irkutsk, Tobolsk, Barnaul, and Novosibirsk.Magnificent Rivers and Lakes: Lake Baikal, the Ob, Irtysh, Yenisey, Angara, Lena and Amur rivers. Writer Anton Chekhov described some, polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen and the eccentric British merchant captain Joseph Wiggins navigated others.The Cities and the Railway: High fashion and low life, traffic-choked streets, and chimney stacks. Siberia's cities bring a madding crowd far into the remote taiga-linked by the Trans-Siberian Railway, the nineteenth-century "camel track."Mystics, Mountains and Acient Civilizations: Nikolay Rerikh sought the mystical kingdom of Shambhala here, Russian writer Valentin Rasputin was confused by its beauty, while local Altaians themselves see their republic of mountains and steppe as a Central Asian heaven on earth.

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Before Russians crossed the Urals Mountains in the sixteenth century to settle their "colony" in North Asia, they heard rumors about bountiful fur, of bizarre people without eyes who ate by shrugging their shoulders and of a land where trees exploded from cold. This region of frozen tundra,endless forest, and humming steppe between the...

A. J. Haywood is a journalist and author whose published works includes guidebooks and articles on Russia, Austria, and Germany, as well as short stories and translations.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:November 15, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199754187

ISBN - 13:9780199754182

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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgementsIntroduction: Heaven and Hell; Landscape of Extremes; The Humdrum and the Bizarre.1. Cradle of Civilizations: Bronze-Age CulturesThe ScythsTurkic and Mongol StatesThe Khanate of SibirIndigenes before Russian ColonizationYermak's Conquest2. A Frontier Beyond: The Urals and YekaterinburgTravel on the Sibirsky TraktBeyond the Watershed of ImaginationStroganovs, Demidovs and the Industrial Heritage of NevyanskYekaterinburg: Minerals and MiningA Walk through YekaterinburgThe Romanov Murders and Church-on-BloodFrom Voznesenskaya Gorka to the Opera3. Tyumen: Dallas in SiberiaFrom Fortress to MetropolisHoly Trinity Monastery: Missionaries and Indigenous ColonizationTowards Historical Square and Central SquareRasputin: The Mystic from Pokrovskoe4. Tobolsk: From "Sodom in the Taiga" to a Cultural HeartlandThe Kremlin ComplexBanishing the BellSiberian AdministrationOutside the Kremlin: Decembrists and DostoevskyThe Lower Town (86)Abalak and the "Pious Work."5. To the Frozen Ocean and Stalin's Railway of Death: Khanty-Mansiysk: Boom Town (96)Berezovo and SalekhardThe Railway of Death6. Omsk and the Baraba Steppe: Revolution and Civil WarExploring OmskThe Baraba Steppe7. Over the Top: The Northern Sea Route: Exploring Siberia's SeasThe Second Kamchatka ExpeditionNordenskjold's ExpeditionsJoseph Wiggins and Helen PeelNansen and the Drifters8. Novosibirsk and the Trans-Siberian Railway: Building Russia's RailwayNovosibirsk: Bridge over the ObAround NovosibirskThe Mammoths of Akademgorodok9. The Altai Region and Republic: Mystics, Mountains and Nomads: Barnaul and the AltaiIndustrial HeritageProspekt Lenina: Urban ArchaeologyThe Altai Republic: Spiritual LandscapeAltai NationalismThe Katun River and Mount Belukha10. The Yenisey River: From Steppes to the FrozenTundra: Khoomei: Throat Singing and Cultural IdentityThe Tuvans and their Burial ComplexesThe Yenisey River NorthKhakassia and the Steppe CulturesKrasnoyarskNorth to the ArcticYeniseysk: Churches and FairsTurukhansk: Saints and Exiles11. Irkutsk: The "Paris of Siberia": Foreign VisitorsCentral Irkutsk: Monuments, Museums and MonasteriesRemembering the Decembrists12. Lake Baikal: Siberia's Sacred Sea: The World's Largest Freshwater LakeIrkutsk to ListvyankaThe Circumbaikal RailwayOlkhon Island: Where Spirits and Cultures Meet13. The Archipelago of Exile: Magadan: House of the DeadThe Gulags: Company TownFurther ReadingIndex of Historical and Literary NamesIndex of Places and Landmarks