AEIOpeners: Leon Aron's reading list

Leon Aron is a resident scholar and director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of three books and over 300 articles and essays. Since 1999, he has written Russian Outlook, a quarterly essay on economic, political, social and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet transition, published by the Institute. He is the author of the first full-scale scholarly biography of Boris Yeltsin, Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life (St. Martin’s Press, 2000); and Russia’s Revolution: Essays 1989-2006 (AEI Press, 2007); Roads to the Temple: Memory, Truth, Ideals and Ideas in the Making of the Russian Revolution, 1987-1991 (Yale University Press, 2012).

"Reading Lolita in Tehran," Azar Nafisi, 2003

You probably have to go to such witnesses like Vasily Grossman or Nadezhda Mandelstam or Solzenitsyn to get such an artistically powerful presentation of the firsthand experience of totalitarianism.

"Boswell's Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson," Adam Sisman, 2001

It is not only a fascinating inside scoop as to what many consider the best biography ever written, which is James Boswell's biography of Samuel Johnson, but it also, to me, was a really striking example of how art almost literally heals the soul, because the writing of the Johnson biography turned Boswell from essentially a dissipated alcoholic and womanizer into a productive human being who died almost right after he finished the book.

"Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable," Thomas Bulfinch, 1855

Reading The Age of Fable, which encompasses classic Greek and Roman mythology and King Arthur and his knights, is like being persuaded again and again how little we have invented in the past several thousand years and how much our literature and ethics are rooted in what the Greeks and Romans created, in addition to the pure artistic enjoyment that those myths give us.

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About the Author

 

Leon
Aron
  • Leon Aron is Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of three books and over 300 articles and essays. Since 1999, he has written Russian Outlook, a quarterly essay on economic, political, social and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet transition, published by the Institute. He is the author of the first full-scale scholarly biography of Boris Yeltsin, Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life (St. Martin’s Press, 2000); and Russia’s Revolution: Essays 1989-2006 (AEI Press,2007); Roads to the Temple: Memory, Truth, Ideals and Ideas in the Making of the Russian Revolution, 1987-1991 (Yale University Press, Spring 2012).


    Dr. Aron earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University, has taught a graduate seminar at Georgetown University, and was awarded the Peace Fellowship at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He has co-edited and contributed the opening chapter to The Emergence of Russian Foreign Policy, published by the U.S. Institute of Peace in 1994 and contributed an opening chapter to The New Russian Foreign Policy (Council on Foreign Relations, 1998).


    Dr. Aron has contributed numerous essays and articles to newspapers andmagazines, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, theWall Street Journal Foreign Policy, The NewRepublic, Weekly Standard, Commentary, New York Times Book Review, the TimesLiterary Supplement. A frequent guest of television and radio talkshows, he has commented on Russian affairs for, among others, 60 Minutes,The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, CNN International,C-Span, and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Talk of theNation.”


    From 1990 to 2004, he was a permanent discussant at the Voice of America’s radio and television show Gliadya iz Ameriki (“Looking from America”), which was broadcast to Russia every week.


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  • Phone: 202-862-5898
    Email: laron@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Katherine Earle
    Phone: 202-862-5872
    Email: katherine.earle@aei.org

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Calling treason by its name: A conversation with Liam Fox

Join us at AEI as the Right Honorable Liam Fox sits down with Marc Thiessen to discuss and debate whether America’s intelligence agencies have infringed on the personal privacy of US citizens.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The curmudgeon's guide to getting ahead

How can young people succeed in workplaces dominated by curmudgeons who are judging their every move? At this AEI book event, bestselling author and social scientist Charles Murray will offer indispensable advice for navigating the workplace, getting ahead, and living a fulfilling life.

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