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Change of Talk – 25 June 2009

6th May 2009

Dear fellow member,

Dr Kate Brown's planned trip to the UK has been put back until September.
The Society is most grateful to Dr Susan Richards for agreeing to address
us at the same time and place.

When Susan Richards set out on her travels after the collapse of communism
she headed for the countryside, for a town called Marx which she hoped
would become a model for Russia’s democratic future. The locals decided
otherwise, for reasons that baffled her. Everything was inside-out and
back-to-front. She met pagan healers and millennial cults. But they were
not the crazy ones, she concluded. The insanity was that mission to
collectivise the human soul. Russia was doing cold turkey, drying out from
that experiment. What kept her sane were the friends she made. Natasha,
the golden girl pursued by the past. Misha, the street trader who became a
manufacturer, but paid the price. Anna, the journalist who, when her hope
for democracy failed escaped into mysticism. Their lives, chronicled in
Susan’s new book Lost and Found in Russia, mirror the apocalyptic story of
Russia’s fall and rise.
After writing a doctorate about Alexander Solzhenitsyn at St. Antony’s
College, Oxford Susan went on to produce feature films for David Puttnam.
But when Gorbachev started glasnost’, Russia called her back. She wrote
the award-winning Epics of Everyday Life, about the impact on ordinary
people of the revelations of glasnost’. In 1991, she initiated Bookaid,
which sent over 1 million English-language books to public libraries
throughout the old Soviet Union. In 2000 she co-founded openDemocracy.net,
an ezine on global affairs. She now edits openDemocracy Russia.
Dr. Richard's book is due to be published IN HARDBACK only on 11 June at a
price of £17.99, and we shall be offering it to our members on 25 June at
the specially reduced price of £14.00. Please bring the correct change.

We apologise for the change to the published programme but we are
confident that you will enjoy and find interesting what Dr Richards has to

Daniel Salbstein/David Holohan

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