Nov
28
2014
Mir Publishers, Moscow Books

Strangest Books of the Week #15

These two vintage paperbacks came in some time ago. Popular science imports from 1970s Soviet Russia.

This Chancy, Chancy, Chancy World

by L. Rastrigin, translated by R.H.M. Woodhouse, Mir Publishers Moscow, 1973

Physiology is for Everyone

by Boris F. Sergeev, translated by Oleg Meshkov, Mir Publishers Moscow, 1978

Both books have minor general wear to the covers, but are clean and unmarked. Physiology has tons of black and white cartoon illustrations throughout. Chancy doesn’t have the cartoons, but does have lots of small graphs, most of which include blocky, geometrical cartoon figures. I’d go so far as to say they are charming, even. From the bits and pieces I’ve read from these books, they both appear to be very approachable, very much what you think of as “popular science”. I don’t know why this surprised me so much. I guess when I think of science and the Soviet Union, charming popular science books just don’t suggest themselves. Biased by Hollywood, I suppose.

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