I’m personally quite excited about this… This April Southbank Centre in London will mark the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight with a talk exploring the Soviet Union of the 1950s and 1960s featuring three writers – Lev Danilkin, Francis Spufford and Orlando Figes (a personal favourite).
The Soviet Dream will look into how the Soviet Union attempted to implement a planned economy that would outstrip capitalism, making communism the economic model of the future. Lev Danilkin is Yuri Gagarin’s official biographer, and has edited several key reviews of contemporary Russian literature. Francis Spufford’s book Red Plenty is part novel, part historical investigation of the communist dream and the key characters within it. While Orlando Figes, one of the most distinguished historians of 20th-century Russia and author of Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia, will chair the event.
The Soviet Dream, London’s Southbank Centre, 13 April 2011, 7:45pm