The 65th issue of NZ consists of several related thematic blocks. The opening topic — “Education of Feelings: The Soviet Ethos” — is devoted to the various aspects of “Soviet” experience, first of all ethical. It includes a research on the “Soviet hygiene” by Konstantin Bogdanov, a remarkable selection of interviews with the Soviet women of different generations “on love and marriage” (the interviewers are Nikolay Mitrokhin, Ekaterina Konovalova, Olga Sibireva), research on “female intelligent happiness” by Chelyabinsk sociologist Rozaliya Cherepanova, an article on atheistic education in the USSR by the American researcher Victoria Smolkin and analysis of Leningrad “blockade conversations” in 1941—1942 by Sergey Yarov.
The same block is adjoined by the conversation between the Parisian writer Andrey Lebedev with the writer and representative of the “third wave” of Russian emigration Evgeny Ternovskiy, which is focused on moral objectives of the Moscow intellectuals of the 1960s. “Soviet” as an object of the post-Soviet reception is a topic of the article by Natalia Samutina and Boris Stepanov (Politics of Culture). Ethics, not of the Soviet society but of the post-Soviet researchers of the Soviet Stalin period is the topic of notes by the historian Pavel Polyan on the conference “History of Stalinism: Results and Research Perspectives” held in Moscow in December 2008.
Another major theme of the issue is a correlation of special and universal with regard to such ideological construction as “Russian exclusiveness”. This very topic is set in the Alexander Kustarev’s traditional column (“On Comparison”) and picked up by the NZ editor-in-chief Ilya Kalinin under his column “Daily Political Economy” (“Widely Closed Country”), and finally, a more detailed analysis of the topic can be found in the section “Russian Beauty: National in the Modern Art”. This block consists of articles by the Amsterdam Slavist Ellen Rutten on “the Russian project” of the Groningen museum (in particular, on the sensational painting exhibition by Ilya Repin) and Alexander Bobrikov on the scandalous artist Alexander Belyaev-Gintovt who maintains ultranationalist moods in Russia. The block also includes the conversation of the Italian Slavists Damiano Rebecchini and Nina Colantoni on exhibitions of the modern Russian art in Milan as well as the discussion by Stanislav Savitsky, Thomas Campbell, Phillip Dontsov, Andrey Klyukanov, George Witte, Sergey Khachaturov and Gleb Ershov on the so-called “Russian beauty”. A curious epilogue to a topic serves the essay of the philosopher Igor Smirnov “On Toilet Seats, or Why I am the Patriot”.
“Federalism, Society, State” is the third thematic block of this NZ issue. The NZ editor Andrey Zakharov provokes the reader to consider the RSFSR federalism as an example to be followed; the small research by Eduard Scherbenko is devoted to the attitude of the Ukraine citizens to their own state institutions (based on sociological data); Andrey Makarychev questions whether “the returning of a policy in sphere of federal relations of the present Russia is possible?”.
We also recommend to pay your attention to the NZ traditional headings Sociological Lyrics (Aleksey Levinson) and Humanitarian Economics (Evgeny Saburov). In the Culture of Politics section Andrey Ranchin shares his reasons concerning Russian education reform, in particular, on the Uniform Graduation Examination.
The issue ends with traditional reviews: New Books section and Russian Intellectual Journals’ Review (Vyacheslav Morozov and Petr Rezvykh). Shall we pay your attention to the review of Alexander Boroznyak regarding the very important research on the history of Leningrad blockade performed by the German Historian Jörg Ganzenmüler, and on response by Tatyana Bonch-Osmolovskaya to the book of the known British writer Stephen Fry about his travel across the United States.