New books — From the July 2014 issue

New Books

Download Pdf
MicroFiche

When five brightly balaclava’d members of the Pussy Riot collective climbed atop the altar of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February 2012 to chant “Our Lady, Chase Putin Out!,” they became celebrities; five months later, when Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alyokhina, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova answered the state’s charge of hooliganism, they became heroes. Their closing statements turned a show trial into The Death of Socrates. Samutsevich criticized the government’s exploitation of Orthodox symbols, Alyokhina lamented political apathy, and Tolokonnikova insisted that their action, which was sending them to prison, had really set them free. Accused of religious hatred, she offered spiritual wisdom. “A human being is a creature that is always in error, never perfect,” she said. “She quests for wisdom, but cannot possess it. I think that Christianity . . . supports the search for truth and a constant overcoming of oneself, the overcoming of what you were earlier.”

This article is only available to magazine subscribers. If you are a subscriber, please sign in. If you aren't, please subscribe below and get access to the entire Harper's archive for only $39.99/year.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Download Pdf
Share

More from Christine Smallwood:

New books From the September 2014 issue

New Books

Reviews From the May 2014 issue

New Books

New books From the March 2014 issue

New Books

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2014

Cassandra Among the
Creeps

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Today Is Better Than Tomorrow”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

PBS Self-Destructs

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Monkey Did It

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content