We culled through 15 years of Russian Life magazine to select readersa?? and editorsa?? favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies a?? those that can be read again and again. Indeed, the over 150 stories and biographies in this unique two-volume collection combine to offer a rich, multi-faceted portrait of Russian culture, history and society: from banyas to vodka, from Tsarism to the Bolshevik Revolution, from cultural traditions to social upheavals. Volume I includes 76 stories on history and culture. Volume II includes 78 timeless biographies of Russians who have shaped the countrya??s history and culture, from artists and poets, to entrepreneurs, rulers, spies and favorites: Rudolph Abel, Ivan Aivazovsky, Anna Akhmatova. Isaac Babel, Mikhail Barclay de Tolly, Alexander Blok, Karl Bryullov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Catherine II, Anton Chekhov, Sasha Chyorny, Morris and Lona Cohen, Yekaterina Dashkova, False Dmitry I, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Yekaterina Dzhugashvili, Sergei Eisenstein, Tsarina Elizabeth I, Nikolai Ge, Vladimir Gilyarovsky, Nikolai Gogol, Maxim Gorky, Alexander Griboyedov, Maria Hamilton, Fazil Iskander, Ivan the Terrible, Alexander Kolchak, Pavel Korin, Vladimir Korolenko, Ivan Kruzenshtern, Yuri Kuklyachov, Ivan Kulibin, Boris Kustodiev, Mikhail Kutuzov, Lev Landau, Mikhail Lermontov, Alexei Losev, Samuil Marshak, Ilya Mechnikov, Father Alexander Men, Alexander Menshikov, Mikhail Nesterov, Bulat Okudzhava, Tsar Paul I, Victor Pelevin, Andrei Platonov, Georgy Plekhanov, Grigory Potemkin, Sergei Prokofiev, Alexander Pushkin, Alexander Radishchev, Marina Raskova, Nikolai Roerich, Andrei Sakharov, Boris Savinkov, Pyotr Semyonov-Tyanshansky, St. Sergius of Radonezh, Fyodor Shalyapin, Dmitry Shostakovich, Alexander Smirdin, Pyotr Stolypin, Igor Stravinsky, Alexander Suvorov, Peter Tchaikovsky, Valentina Tereshkova, Patriarch Tikhon, Fyodor Tolstoy, Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Tyutchev, Galina Ulanova, Fyodor Volkov, Maximilian Voloshin, Vladimir Vysotsky, Sergei Yursky, Nikolai Zabolotsky.