Soviets and Sassenachs: My Two Favorite Historical TV Series

In the first two posts in this series, I’ve suggested that historical movies — and TV shows, for that matter — might best be judged by asking four questions: Are they entertaining? (understanding that there are multiple meanings to the verb “entertain”) Are they truthful? (but in terms of “verisimilitude” more than “accuracy”) Are the makers genuinely interested in the past [Read More…]

Religion behind the Iron Curtain

Although one could find fuller treatments of the subject elsewhere, I was very intrigued by Anne Applebaum’s thoughtful treatment of religion in Eastern Europe in the first decade after the end of WWII. [See the first part of this review of Applebaum’s The Iron Curtain here]. First of all, Applebaum allows for a healthy measure [Read More…]

Anne Applebaum’s The Iron Curtain

Oftentimes the most powerful accounts of “religious history” are found in books addressing much broader topics. Such is the case in Anne Applebaum’s convincing and eloquent The Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 (Doubleday, 2012). Focusing on events in East Germany, Poland, and Hungary, Applebaum uses both archival sources and oral interviews to [Read More…]