Soviet Union

Map of the Island of Utopia, book frontispiece, 1563

Even Corbyn would find Thomas More’s Utopia too leftwing

2 January 2016 9:00 am

Thomas More’s 1516 classic is a textbook for our troubled times, says William Cook

Why did a Russian ballet dancer throw acid in his boss’s face?

12 December 2015 9:00 am

The 16th June 1961 and 17th January 2013 are two indelible dates in the annals of Russian ballet. Two events…

Yuri Gagarin in the cabin of Vostok, the spacecraft in which he made the first human journey to outer space on 12 April, 1961

When technology was art: Cosmonauts at the Science Museum reviewed

26 September 2015 8:00 am

‘The dominant narrative of space,’ I was told, in that strange language curators employ, ‘is America.’ Quite so. Kennedy stared…

The surreal beauty of Soviet bus stops

12 September 2015 9:00 am

The Soviet Union was a nation of bus stops. Cars were hard to come by, so a vast public transport…

Scapegoat for all of urban life’s ills: Le Corbusier, c.1950

How dedicated a fascist was Le Corbusier?

23 May 2015 9:00 am

The ‘revelations’, 50 years after he drowned, that Le Corbusier was a ‘fascist’ and an anti-Semite are neither fresh nor…

Why Putin is even less of a human than Stalin was

21 February 2015 9:00 am

LBC likes to tell us it’s ‘Leading Britain’s Conversation’, though in the case of weekday pre-lunch presenter James O’Brien you’ll…

Classical music's greatest political butt-kissers: Dudamel, Gergiev and Rattle

14 February 2015 9:00 am

On 8 March 2013, Gustavo Dudamel stood by the coffin of the Marxist autocrat Hugo Chavez and conducted the Simon…

Russians made the theatre space the most liberating imaginative device ever invented

1 November 2014 9:00 am

You have to hand it to the Russians. They beat us into space, beat us to sexual equality, and a…

Plisetskaya in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, 1964. She was one of the supreme trophies in the Soviet display case, the most garlanded, the most suspected

Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin: ‘The KGB put a microphone in our marriage bed'

25 October 2014 9:00 am

Ismene Brown talks to the Russian super-couple Maya Plisetskaya and Rodion Shchedrin about ballet, opera and the KGB

Ambridge recovers its sense of humour — finally

23 August 2014 9:00 am

‘Isn’t that charming!’ Carol declares at the height of the great Home Farm cocktail party, after being subjected to Jennifer’s…

Vladimir Putin knows what he stands for. Do we?

19 April 2014 9:00 am

Possibly because his oratory is no match for his much-displayed pectoral muscles, the speeches of Vladimir Putin are seldom reported…

I was Ralph Miliband's research assistant, and this is what he was like

19 October 2013 9:00 am

Memories of being Ralph Miliband’s research assistant