“People perish for cold metal”

The interrogators did not write up charge sheets because no one needed their papers. And whether or not a [prison] sentence would be pasted on was of very little interest. Only one thing was important: Give up your gold, viper! The state needs gold and you don’t.

This is all from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. There’s more:

If you in fact had no gold, then your situation was hopeless. You would be beaten, burned, tortured, and steamed to the point of death or until they finally came to believe you. But if you had gold, you could determine the extent of your torture, the limits of your endurance, and your own fate.

It’s a good book, so far, but trying to compare the Soviet Union after World War I and a brief civil war to the present-day United States is a bridge too far. The only Americans today who might share the Gulag experience are the black ones, and even then their situation is less of a gulag archipelago and more of a traditional oppressed ethnic minority.

Nightcap

  1. What can we learn from the Islamic State Katherine Brown, Disorder of Things
  2. The early years of Christianity Jay Parini, Literary Hub
  3. Russia and the Arabs agree on the U.S., but not on Iran Marianna Belenkaya, Al-Monitor
  4. Ninotchka: a rare anti-communist film David Henderson, EconLog

Nightcap

  1. That time Russians explored the world via flotilla Yelena Furman, Los Angeles Review of Books
  2. The origins of globalisation can be found in the deep past Daniel Lord Smail, History Today
  3. What it’s like to be a lawyer for the New York Times Preet Bharara, New York Times
  4. Capitalists, not socialists, pose the greatest threat to capitalism Randall Holcombe, the Hill

Nightcap

  1. Can there be peace in Afghanistan? Shreyas Deshmukh, Pragati
  2. Competition among states wasn’t sufficient for religious liberty Johnson & Koyama, Cato Unbound
  3. Transnational queenship Michelle Beer, JHIBlog
  4. Russia the Terrible Timothy Crimmins, Modern Age

Afternoon Tea: Last Supper (1903)

From the Russian painter Ilya Repin:

nol art repin last supper 1903
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This is a bit different than the traditional “last supper” paintings we are used to, at least here in the States.

Afternoon Tea: Tramps. Homeless. (1894)

From the estimable Russian artist Ilya Repin:

nol art repin tramps homeless 1894
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If anybody knows where this is displayed today, please let me know either by email or simply in the ‘comments’ section.

Afternoon Tea: Portrait of pianist and professor of Saint Petersburg Conservatory Sophie Menter (1887)

From Ilya Repin, a painter from the Russian Empire:

nol art repin sophie menter 1887
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