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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Events Calendar
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Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

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