Challenging Positive Attitudes Toward Stalin

Jun 12, 2014

Radarami Update - June 2014

Dear friends of Radarami,

Spring has arrived in Tbilisi, bringing with it beauty weather, fresh fruit and vegetables, and some exciting things here at Radarami, including our eleventh book launch, three upcoming publications, as well as a few goodbyes and hellos.

Because of your support, Radarami recently published and launched our eleventh book,How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. The book is a fascinating look at how failure and exploration build character inside and outside the classroom. On April 27th, we journeyed out to Café Marleta in Telavi for the book launch. The launch featured short introductions by Tinatin Khomeriki, the book’s editor; Tamar Gakhokidze, the manager of the Newton School in Tbilisi; and Nino Kiknavelidze, a child psychologist who led a very active discussion between the event’s seventy attendees, each of whom received copies of the book.

Radarami has a busy summer ahead with three publications going to the press. The two publications funded in part by the Open Society Foundation and by your generosity—The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah, andThe Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movementby David Graeber—are both nearly edited, and we hope to have them both printed by early July.

We’re also happy to say that Timothy Snyder’sBloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalinis likewise just about ready for publication. We’re very grateful for your support throughout the length of this project as well as for partial funding through the Heinrich Böll Foundation. We’re excited that this publication is finally coming to fruition because it will add a much needed voice to the political divisiveness of in Georgia over Stalin, who is still admired by many as a national hero. We hope this publication will be instrumental in a public reappraisal of his role.

In April, Radarami took part in the Wandering Books Initiative. Radarami books were placed in public places with a note saying, "I'm a wandering book, you can take me and leave me somewhere after you read me". Please follow the link for the short video we made about this project:

Naturally, Radarami isn’t stopping here. As we look to the rest 2014, we will be working to fund publication ofThe Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier, which examines the fifty failed states which are home to the poorest one billion people on Earth, and what needs to be done as they fall further and further behind the rest of the world. We’re also continuing to expand our distribution network, recently adding more libraries and utilizing Georgia’s nearly ninety Peace Corps Volunteers, all of whom work in the regions, for book dissemination.

On a final note, Radarami was sorry to say goodbye in mid-May to our director Sabrina Badger who departed to pursue further education and opportunities in the US, and and in the beginning of June to Mitch Belkin, who will shortly depart to Indonesia on a Fulbright Teaching Scholarship. Under Sabrina’s leadership, Radarami published three books and procured funding for three more, and Mitch was at the core of what Radarami has achieved in the past two years. We wish them the best and are grateful for their time of direction and growth here at Radarami.

However, we’re glad to welcome onboard several new faces here at Radarami. We have recently been joined by Brian Gillikin, who has taken over many of Sabrina’s former duties. Brian was formerly a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rustavi, Georgia and has since worked for American Councils and JumpStart Georgia here in Tbilisi. We are also joined by Arianne Swieca, who is transitioning into Mitch’s former role within the Radarami team.


If you have any other questions or comments, please email


Thank you again for your generous support.


Best wishes,


The Radarami Team



Photo Credits: 

Giorgi Kvintradze


Mar 17, 2014

Radarami Update - February 2014

Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February

Dear Radarami supporters,

It has been a cold several months since we last wrote to you, although it seems that spring has arrived in Tbilisi. Radarami's staff has been busy with the four books we hope to publish in the next four months.  Translation and editing are underway for the three books currently supported by grants: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah, and The Democracy Project: a History, a Crisis, a Movement by David Graeber.  

We have also been hard at work looking for additional funding to publish Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder.  Many people think of Stalin as a Russian leader, but in fact he was born in Georgia, about 30 minutes' drive from Tbilisi.  Perhaps because he's a local boy, a majority of Georgians have a positive view of Stalin, in spite of the fact that he oversaw the murder, imprisonment in forced labor camps, and mass deportation of tens of millions of Soviet citizens.  We think it's high time for a new history of the Stalinist period in Georgian, and your support shows you do, too.  We are trying to find a partner who will help us fund the publication and events for this book, but in the meantime, all your donations help us reach our goal.

While we are working to publish Bloodlands, we have also held several interesting events based around past Radarami books.  On February 18, Radarami held a discussion at the National Parliamentary Library on the themes of Ill Fares the Land: A Treatise on Our Present Discontents by Tony Judt.  The debate was led by Bakar Berekashvili, political scientist and lecturer at Georgian American University, and the four debaters were Political Science Faculty students at Tbilisi State University Irakli Iremadze, Levan Lortkipanidze, Sopo Shubitidze and a graduate Giorgi Khatiashvili.  It was a well-attended and spirited debate, with the audience chiming in during the second half, and a large group congregated outside the library to continue the discussion after the library had closed.  We are very happy this work is sparking such intelligent debate here in Georgia.  If you are interested in learning more about one audience member's impressions of the debate, a young Georgian Radarami supporter who recently graduated from Connecticut College wrote a short review here.

Radarami also held an event on February 26 aimed at teachers and others interested in Georgia's education system. Alexandre Lortkipanidze and Irakli Kakabadze, journalists for the national education magazine, Mastsavlebeli, spoke about Radarami's Work Hard. Be Nice.: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America by Jay Mathews, and about the issues facing Georgia's schools--whether lessons taken from America's charter school movement are relevant to Georgia.  Over 70 people attended and received free books.We hope that when we send our next report in 3 months we will be able to tell you that we have publishedBloodlands and started a debate on Stalinist history in Georgia.  To help make this happen, please tell your friends about our project and consider making another donation.  Even small contributions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you again for your generous support.

Best wishes,

The Radarami team 



18 February - Parliamentary Library of Georgia

26 February - Levan Mujiri 

Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Parliamentary Library; 26 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February
Debate; 18 February


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Tbilisi, Shida Qartli, Georgia

Project Leader

Sabrina Badger

Tbilisi, Shida Qartli Georgia

Where is this project located?

Map of Challenging Positive Attitudes Toward Stalin