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Robert Blaisdell




B.A., College of Creative Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1981

M.A., English Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1984

Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1988

Selected Publications and/or Other Resources:

Selected Reviews

"The 'Almost Nothing' That 'Signifies Everything': The Life and Work of Jozef Czapski" (on Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp by Józef Czapski and Almost Nothing: The 20th-Century Art and Life of Jozef Czapski by Eric Karpeles), Slavic and East European Journal (Summer 2019)

The Annotated Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Elizabeth D. Samet and My Dearest Julia: The Wartime Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Wife by Library of America, Los Angeles Review of Books (February 5, 2019)

Stalin's Scribe: Literature, Ambition, and Survival: The Life of Mikhail Sholokhov by Brian J. Boesk, Russian Life Magazine (March-April, 2019)

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Maxim Osipov, Los Angeles Review of Books (April 9, 2019)

Winter, by Karl Ove Knausgaard, Christian Science Monitor Weekly (January 22, 2018)

Spring, by Karl Ove Knausgaard, Los Angeles Review of Books (May 5, 2018)

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight, Christian Science Monitor (October 2, 2018)

Among Russian Sects and Revolutionists: The Extraordinary Life of Prince D. A. Khilkov by Graham Camfield, Tolstoy Studies Journal (2016 [actually printed: 2017])

Other Russias by Victoria Lomasko, Russian Life (March 6, 2017)

Hostage by Guy Delisle, Christian Science Monitor (May 3, 2017)

The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich, Christian Science Monitor (July 31, 2017)

Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror by Victor Sebestyen, The Christian Science Monitor (November 13, 2017)

Novels, Tales, Journeys: The Complete Prose of Alexander Pushkin, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Los Angeles Review of Books (November 22, 2016)

Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen, Christian Science Monitor (February 5, 2014)

The Enchanted Wanderer and Other Stories by Nikolai Leskov, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, San Francisco Chronicle (March 31, 2013)

Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays, the Parallel Lives of Baseball's Golden Age by Allen Barra, Class A by Lucas Mann and Color Blind by Tom Dunkel, San Francisco Chronicle (May 17, 2013)

Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore, Christian Science Monitor (October 7, 2013)

Mightier Than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America by David S. Reynolds, San Francisco Chronicle (July 3, 2011)

Tolstoy: A Russian Life by Rosamund Bartlett, Christian Science Monitor (November 8, 2011)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky and War and Peace: Original Version, translated by Andrew Bromfield, San Francisco Chronicle (November 25, 2007)

Anna Karenina in Our Time: Seeing More Wisely by Gary Saul Morson, Tolstoy Studies Journal (Vol. XIX, 2007)

Sidewalk by Mitchell Duneier, San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner Book Review (Jan. 23, 2000)

And Still We Rise: The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City High School Students by Miles Corwin, New York Times Book Review (August 6, 2000)

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King, New York Post (Oct. 8, 2000)

Selected Essays

"The Anna Karenina Diaries [Part 1]," Tolstoy Commons [ ] (March 30, 2018)

"Knausgaard and War and Peace," Los Angeles Review of Books (October 7, 2018)

"Looking for Tolstoy in Samara," Russian Life Magazine (November-December, 2018)

"Mushrooming in Tolstoy's World … Or, Tolstoy on Mushrooms," Fungi Magazine (Vol. 9, No. 4, Winter 2017)

"Sar-Chasm in the Classroom," Chronicle of Higher Education (July 19, 2017)

"So You Think You Can't," Inside Higher Ed (January 21, 2016)

"Seryozha's Education," Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, Volume 22, No. 4 (2015)

"Learning to Read in Russian," Times Higher Education (London) (April 4, 2013)

"Reshaping Students in Our Own Image," Chronicle of Higher Education (April 22, 2013)

"Russian Rail Rage: Remembering Winter in Tula," The Moscow Times (Aug. 8, 2013)

"Man Kicks Car," Mr. Beller's Neighborhood: New York City Stories (Sept. 26, 2013)

"Arrested for Writing?" Inside Higher Ed (November 13, 2013)

"Russian Evolution" [on-line titled "My Russian," by Robert Blaisdell], Christian Science Monitor (February 27, 2012)

"Let Your Imagination Play: The Late Jorge Luis Borges' Advice for Fiction Writers Speaks to the Shortcomings—and Prison—of Exactitude," The Writer Magazine (February, 2011)

"The Three Women," Mr. Beller's Neighborhood: New York City Stories (February 28, 2011)

"Writing Someone Else's Diary," Changing English, Vol. 18, No. 1 (March, 2011)

"Our Bibles [reading Anna Karenina on the subway]," Inside Higher Ed (October 28, 2010)

"Trollope the Mentor: Helping Young Writers Attain 'The Unforced Imagination,'" Trollopiana: The Journal of the Trollope Society (Winter 2009-2010)

"It's in the Cards," Times Higher Education (London) (January 28, 2010)

"An Impossible Student," Inside Higher Ed (September 18, 2009)

"Jogging the Memory," Times Higher Education, TSL Education, United Kingdom (June 4, 2009)

"Ezra Pound, the Writing Teacher," Whispering Shade (Spring 2009)

"Getting to Know Marvin Mudrick," Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education (June 2008)

"Shto Eta?: Learning Russian, Teaching English," English Today, Cambridge University Press (January 2007)

"Franz Kafka: 'In Spite of Everything Writing Does One Good,'" Whistling Shade (Spring 2006)

"The Soup Kitchen Writing Workshop," MultiCultural Review (Spring 2005)

"Anna Karenina's Children's Novel," Whistling Shade (Fall 2004)

"A Few Words of Advice from Anton Chekhov," The Writer Magazine (September 2004)

"Ten Years Later," in Food for the Soul: Selections from the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Writers' Workshop, edited by Susan Shapiro and Elizabeth Maxwell (New York: Seabury Publishing, 2004)

"Jorges Luis Borges: On Dreaming as Writing and Writing as Dreaming," Literary Imagination: The Review of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics (Fall 2003)

"Red Marks in the Margins: A Professor's Take on the Evolutionary Art of Grading," Christian Science Monitor (Dec. 17, 2002)

"Me and Mister Thoreau," The Thoreau Society Bulletin (Winter 2002)

"Teaching Dostoyevsky Through a Prism," The Chronicle of Higher Education (April 27, 2001)

"Learning to Roll with 'Oedipus,'" The Chronicle of Higher Education (August 3, 2001)

 "Thoreau, the Writing Coach," The Teachers & Writers Guide to Classic American Literature (Teachers & Writers Collaborative in association with The Library of America, 2001)

"'You Said Sappho's a She!'" Teaching Tolerance, Southern Poverty Law Center (October 1999)

"Sensational von Kleist: Using His Stories," in Classics in the Classroom: Using Great Literature to Teach Writing (Teachers & Writers Collaborative 1999)

"How Do You Know When You're in Love?: On Teaching 'The Knife of the Times,'" in The Teachers & Writers Guide to William Carlos Williams (Teachers & Writers Collaborative 1998)

"Hercules for Young Readers," Classical World, Volume 91 (1998)

"Tolstoy, the Writing Teacher," Teachers & Writers Magazine (November-December 1997)

"A Toddler Introduces Strangers on a Train," Christian Science Monitor (September 11, 1997)

"Oedipus, Still the King," Classical World, Volume 90 (September/October 1996)

Editor, selected titles.

New York Stories (Dover, 2016)

Great Love Stories (Dover, 2016)

Essays on Civil Disobedience (Dover, 2016)

Great Short Stories by Contemporary Native American Writers (Dover, 2014)

Co-Editor with Christine Rudisel, Great Short Stories by African-American Writers (Dover, 2014)

Essays on Immigration (Dover, 2013)

World War One Short Stories (Dover, 2013)

Great Short Poems from Around the World (Dover, 2013)

Essays on Teaching (Dover, 2013)

Humorous American Short Stories (Dover, 2013)

Civil War Letters: From Home, Camp & Battlefield (Dover, 2012)

Co-Editor (with Odette Blaisdell), The Wit and Wisdom of Oscar Wilde (Dover, 2012)

On Genius by John Ruskin (Hesperus Press, 2011)

Civil War Short Stories and Poems (Dover, 2011)

Great English Essays: From Bacon to Chesterton (Dover 2005)

The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln (Dover 2005)

Marcus Garvey: Selected Writings and Speeches (Dover 2005)

Elizabethan Verse: An Anthology (Dover 2005)

The Wit and Wisdom of Anthony Trollope (Blackthorn Press 2003)

The Communist Manifesto and Other Revolutionary Documents (Dover 2003)

Classic Tales and Fables for Children by Leo Tolstoy (Prometheus 2001)

Thoreau: A Book of Quotations (Dover 2001)

Great Speeches by Native Americans (Dover 2000)

Tolstoy as Teacher: Leo Tolstoy's Writings on Education (Teachers & Writers Collaborative 1999)

Imagist Poetry: An Anthology (Dover 1999)

Selected Translations

From the Russian, two children's stories by Lev Tolstoy, "The Girl and the Mushrooms" and "How the Boy Told How a Thunderstorm Caught Him in the Woods," Russian Life (October 12, 2016)

From the Russian, children's story, "Bedbugs," by Lev Tolstoy, Chtenia (Fall 2012)

From the Russian, children's story, "How Auntie Told Granny about How the Bandit Yemelka Pugachyov Gave Her a Ten-Kopeck Piece," by Lev Tolstoy, Chtenia (Winter 2012)

Poems from the Spanish and the Russian ("Touch" by Octavio Paz; "I Loved You" by Alexander Pushkin), in Dorothy Belle Pollack's Best Short Poems of All Time (Dover 2011)


San Francisciana Photographs of Woodward's Gardens (San Francisciana, 2012)

George Newlin's Everyone and Everything in Trollope, Volume IV: The Complete Nonfiction and the Topicon (M.E. Sharpe 2004)

San Francisciana Photographs of Playland  (San Francisciana, 1990)

San Francisciana Photographs of Sutro Baths  (San Francisciana, 1987)

San Francisciana Photographs of the Cliff House  (San Francisciana, 1985)


Well, Mr. Mudrick Said … A Memoir (CreateSpace) [reviewed on The Madeline Brand Show:] (20 July)

Excerpt, "Marvin Mudrick Believes in You, Believe It or Not," from Well, Mr. Mudrick Said … A Memoir, Los Angeles Review of Books (September 14, 2011)

Children's Books

The Story of Hercules (Dover 1997)

Favorite Greek Myths (Dover 1995)

Robin Hood (Dover 1994)