15 contestant books in Long List PolitProsvet Special Award

So many wonderful books have been published in the past 12 months that the jury could easily have compiled two lists

June 20, the special book prize of the Enlightener Award, PolitProsvet, has published its long list for the year 2024. It includes 15 contestant books focusing on social and political processes and phenomena relevant for today’s Russia.

“So many wonderful books have been published in the past 12 months that we could easily have compiled two lists. These books fall into two distinct categories. The books published inside Russia are heavily influenced by censorship. Authors cannot afford to speak directly and emotionally about current affairs, so they resort to Aesopian language: for instance, they write about one of the Russian emperors breaking up the society, while in fact they are thinking about the authorities breaking up the society before our eyes. Or they study how in Stalin’s time history turned into a servant of the ideology, while silently implementing that something very similar is happening right now. Books in the Russian language also get published outside of Russia, and their authors and publishers are free from pretense. The books they produce include strong emotional testimonies, analytics, investigations, and essays. Authors who are out of reach of the Russian authorities can speak freely. It is extra important right now that these words are spoken on behalf of those who have left as well as those who have stayed and lost their freedom of speech,” said political observer Boris Grozovsky, head of the PolitProsvet selection committee, author of the EventsAndTexts Telegram channel and editor-in-chief of The Country and The World project (Sakharov Review).

The long list of PolitProsvet special award goes as follows:

1. Anonymous author. The Fascists Don’t Have Enough Paint. — Freedom Letters, 2023.
2. Ilya Barabanov, Denis Korotkov. Death Is Our Business. The Complete History of PMC Wagner and Its Founder Evgeny Prigozhin. — Riga: Meduza, 2024.
3. Maria Boyko. The ABC of State. How the State Governs Us and We Govern the State. — Moscow: AST, 2022.
4. Sergey Guriev, Daniel Treisman. Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century. — Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, 2023.
5. Various authors, edited by Alexander Daniel. The Encyclopaedia of Dissidence: the USSR, 1956–1989. — Moscow: Memorial Research, Information and Public Education Center; New Literary Observer, 2024.
6. Anton Dolin. The Bad Russians. The Birth of Putinism From Commercial Cinema. — Riga: Meduza, 2024.
7. Svetlana Yeremeyeva. Dead Time. Military Funerals of 2022 in Russia and Ukraine. — Freedom Letters, 2023.
8. Mikhail Zygar. War and Punishment. Putin, Zelensky, and the Path to Russia's Invasion of Ukraine. — Riga: Meduza; Zygaro, 2023.
9. Alexander Kynev. Who Governs Russian Regions and How. The System of Governance and Administrative Stability of Authority in the Russian Regions. — Moscow: Rutenia, 2024.
10. Tatiana Litvinova. Stalin Lived in Our Apartment. How Our Ancestors’ Traumas Get In Our Way and What to Do with It. — Moscow: Alpina Publisher, 2024.
11. Mikhail Minakov. The Post-Soviet Man and His Time. An Attempt at a Philosophical Reflection on the Post-Soviet Era. — Riga: School of Civic Education, 2024.
12. Yakov Mirkin. A Brief History of Russian Stresses. Models of Collective and Personal Behavior in Russia In 300 Years. — Moscow: ASТ, 2023.
13. Vladimir Pastukhov. How to Refound Russia. Essays on the Revolution That Lost Its Way. — Gonzo, 2023.
14. Nikita Savin. Democracy and Political Events. — Moscow: HSE Publishing House, 2023.
15. Dmitry Travin. The Russian Trap. — St. Petersburg: European University Publishing House in St. Petersburg, 2023.

The long list of the Enlightener award (the best nonfiction books in the Russian language) and the long list of the Enlightener.Translation award (the best translation and editing) will be announced before the end of June. The jury is set to announce the short list of the special award, its five finalists, before September 30.

Since its launch in 2016, the Enlightener Prize, in support of the Zimin Foundation, awards annually to the best non-fiction books in the Russian language. The jury board of the Enlightener.Translation rewards the best nonfiction books translated into Russian, while the jury of the special PolitProsvet award selects the best book dedicated to the current social and political process.  


June 20, 2024

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