Book review by Mikhail Smirnov, published on Russian Faith
A Great Book for those Interested in Orthodox Culture
I had the opportunity to review the new book, “The Lost World of Imperial Russia“, by Russian historian, Paul Gilbert. This book is available at Amazon for a decent price and I do recommend it for your Orthodox library. There are indeed a number of illustrated books on Russia, but this one is from a purely Orthodox perspective, that captures key elements of the Orthodox empire of Russia. Saints such as John of Kronstadt, and many others, are displayed in the book. Many churches and ecclesial events are also displayed…pictures that are very hard to find and very helpful for those who research Russia and plan on visiting Russia. I intend to bring this book the next time I visit, primarily because, again, it is most purely Orthodox.
It’s certainly a good coffee table book, but the more I look at it the more I see it as a travel book. It’s approximately 8.5×11, so it’s not too big, and not very heavy. Most importantly it has the right stuff in it for those who really want to experience Russia in the way we believe it should be experienced.
On that note of experiencing Russia, I would like to add that what Paul reveals here is foundational for Orthodox Christians or those seeking Orthodoxy, but from my experience, the more miraculous experiences happen from how you “live and leave” these areas. Many of these places are holy sites, where saints dwelled and worked, and where angels still dwell and work. So, locating the right place, as you can find in this book, and then praying and maybe even spending time at these places will enable you to experience the grace of God when you need it in everyday life.
Get the book, not necessarily to see nice pics, but to begin your journey to Holy Russia. The war will clear soon and it will be relatively easy to travel there. Open the book, pray to God, and then go!
© Mikhail Smirnov. 16 November 2022
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