In case you’ve yet to be sunk by the deluge of coverage, you should know that the 100th anniversary of Russia’s twin, momentous revolutions lands this year: The Russian Empire collapsed on March 8, 1917, and the Bolsheviks took power a few months later on November 7. To mark the events, we’ll be showcasing a number of works tied to the creation of the Soviet Union, and to its enduring influence. This list will be updated throughout the year to reflect the works we’ve covered.
Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion, Gareth Stedman Jones
This superb new biography of Karl Marx dispels the many myths that have accrued around him throughout the years, and presents us with an unembellished view of the 19th century’s most influential political theorist. The picture that emerges is one of initial disillusions, mistakes, and an early predilection for vindictive power plays before his transformation in the mid-1860s and rise to (political) stardom. A journey that culminated with the publication of his groundbreaking critique of capitalism, his work at the First International, and his support of the Paris Commune.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Lenin on the Train, Catherine Merridale
As its title suggests, Catherine Merridale’s gripping play-by-play of the Russian Revolution centers on Lenin’s return from exile, and his subsequent takeover of both the Bolshevik Party and the Russian State. Alongside its evocation of the revolutionary’s journey from Switzerland to St. Petersburg, Lenin on the Train is particularly good at presenting the various European powers’ machinations inside Russia.
Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman
Confiscated by the KGB after it was submitted to a literary magazine in 1960, and not published until it was smuggled out of the country 20 years later, Life and Fate is described by many as the Soviet-era War and Peace. Set during and in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Stalingrad, it chronicles the hardships of a diverse cast of characters brought together by their conflicts with totalitarianism—whether they be German or Soviet. An epic, dissident exploration of Europe’s darkest days.
Black Square: Adventures in the Post-Soviet World, Sophie Pinkham
American writer Sophie Pinkham’s debut centers on the 10 years she spent traveling, reporting, and working in and around Russia and Ukraine. With a narrative that stretches from her volunteer work for the Red Cross in Siberia in 2014 to the Euromaidan Revolution, Pinkham offers a diverse and intimate portrait of life in these post-Soviet states.
Fear of Mirrors, Tariq Ali
Fear of Mirrors, Tariq Ali’s 1998 novel, traces the tragic history of communism in the 20th century (no less). The book intersperses two narratives, the first of which follows a former dissident in newly reunified Germany, and the second the life of his supposed father Ludwik—a Soviet secret agent murdered on Stalin’s orders in 1937.
Second-hand Time, Svetlana Alexievich
Winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature, Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich is most famous for her unique brand of nonfiction, written as if halfway between journalism and art. Her latest publication, Second-hand Time, takes on the whole of Soviet history in an effort to characterize the Marxist-Leninist ‘new man.’ An assemblage of dozens of interviews of men and women from all tranches of society, the book provides an epic, spellbinding history of the USSR, and of the horrors that accompanied its dissolution.
A History of the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky
About 900 pages long, this book is an imposing first-hand account of the Russian Revolution, remarkable for having been composed by one of its chief protagonists—proof, if need be, that Leon Trotsky was a formidable writer (amongst other things). Regardless of the reader’s view of the author’s politics, there is no doubt that his analysis of the conditions leading up to the revolution, his meticulous description of the events between February and October 1917, as well as his portraits of the great men involved make for a powerful read.
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
Though completed by its author in 1940, the novel—like Life and Fate—was first published fully in Paris in 1967, whence it became one of most famous works of Soviet fiction. Set in pre-war Moscow, the book follows the devil and his entourage (which includes an enormous black cat named Behemoth) as they wreck havoc around the capital, and so in preparation for an annual ball on the night of Good Friday. Full to the brim with dissident dark humor, The Master and Margarita contrasts the freedom of evil with Soviet oppression. We’re still unsure as to which comes out looking better.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.