Books from the Soviet Era

Mir Publications is a name known to most Indians associated with excellent books in almost all subjects of interest, but especially in science and mathematics. Many people who I know, confess that the science and mathematics that they have understood, they owe to Mir Publications. I couldn’t agree more. The fascination that these books left me with in my childhood has is unforgettable. Also associated publishers were Foreign Languages Publishing House, Raduga Publishers and Progress Publishers. When I say Mir later, what is meant is the books published by ensemble of these publishers from the Soviet era.

The first book that I remember reading is one from Progress was when I was in 4th Grade, the Title of the Book was All About Telescope and since then I am like Alice in Wonderland. Russian books, rather books English published in the Soviet Russia, have had an unforgettable impression on my life.  The joy that these books have provided to me over the years is immeasurable. Not only these books were cheap, they were also published in many Indian languages: Hindi, Marathi and Bengali and Tamil I know for sure. This provided an ideal platform and inspiration for many, who came to science. An entire generation of Indians came of age with the titles from Mir Publications. But with end of the Soviet era, the Mir saga came to an end. The Mir titles which at times were cheaply and easily available became scant. And finally ceased to be a part of the mainstream bookshops. Only places one could find them was in the used book shops, and that too became scarce as the years went by. This trend continues till date. To find a Mir title today even in a used book shop is nothing less than a MIRacle!!

I have collected many books from these publishers and they form most precious part of my collection.

Some of the classics of the Mir books are by Yakov Pereleman, Landau, Kitaigorodosky, Zeldovich, Matveev and the list goes on…

Some notable series were: Science for Every One, What is…, ABC of…, Physics for Everyone, Little Mathematics Library

Many of the titles will be lost forever never to delight a new generation of readers. The knowledge that at least these books existed should not be lost. This blog is an project to make an comprehensive list of  the titles published by Mir and over the years. So that the knowledge about these titles goes to the larger community, so that in the future someone can take up their digitization and / or republication. I urge and request all the people who owe even a little bit to books by Mir to contribute their knowledge about these books here…

How you can contribute?

You can contribute to this project in many ways:

  1. Add the books which are not in the list.
  2. Add information whether e – copies of the books are available.
  3. Add the list of the books which were republished, and status of their availability.
  4. Locate hard copies of the books, in library or personal collections.
  5. Add information about the book like different editions and reprints, language translations, reviews, personal experiences.

I hope that this small endeavor will be worth the effort and these gem of books will delight generations of readers to come…

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63 Responses to Books from the Soviet Era

  1. gnowgi says:

    I agree. I also grew up starting from my primary school days reading the books over and over again. There are several children’s books worthy of collection. Some of the old collections you may still be able to get from .

  2. anish says:

    I really feel we owe at least this much to these books and the authors who took pains to write such beautiful books. Eagerly awaiting the list!
    Best wishes.

  3. s.sanjay says:

    You may include the following title in your list:
    1. Mathematics; Mir Publishers, 1991; by M.I. Bashmakov;
    source: http://www.worldcat.org/title/mathematics/oclc/61562159&referer=brief_results

  4. irutsak says:

    thanks for starting this page. it would be really awesome if you could scan and upload some of the books.

    • damitr says:

      Thanks for taking the interest.
      Many of the books that are listed are already available on the internet.
      For those which are not we are trying to make a list of them, then perhaps we can make the soft copies.
      🙂

      • irutsak says:

        awesome, great. i can make some soft copies too from my collection (in english and bangla) next time i go home. methinks it will be useful to make a page listing the soft copies of the one’s already available on the net. to avoid duplication of effort. by the way, besides science and mathematics books, there were also awesome children’s books, russian fairy tales and magazines. will try to make a list and send. but will take a while. 🙂

      • Elena says:

        Hello! Could you please tell me where to find these books?

  5. s.sanjay says:

    in fact, i had sent my own list some time back to Damitr, who is a pioneer in this field. thanks Damitr, for your zeal and perseverance!

  6. Sanjit Das says:

    Very nice work . I have some of the books. I remember a children magazine called MISHA. I have some of it. If anyone needs I can scan .

  7. javphys says:

    This site is great! I also had the opportunity to read many MIR books. They are full of FUN staff, this is something that you can’t find easily in American Books….I wonder what kind of untranslated-russian books exist right now in bachelor and graduate physics (from any Russian publishing house)?????????????
    Is the world missing such a great literature? or was just a USSR thing???

    • damitr says:

      Thanks for interest!
      Yes MIR books are great, and lot of them are untranslated and some of them really good too.
      You can look up for the old Kvant journal and see the entries there.
      The series of books in Science for Everyone are the books from the Library of Kvant
      Whether or not USSR thing, the point remains that the books are great!!

  8. s.sanjay says:

    why this bogey about ‘USSR’ thing? it should be remembered that in the wake of the launch of sputnik, there arose a massive outcry in the west, especially USA. various reform initiatives were undertaken to boost up the school mathematics and physics curriculla. russian books were translated into english under the garb of ‘east european’ literature from ‘educationally’ advanced countries (thereby indicating that certain societies, though not materially advanced, were somehow, educationally advanced). in fact, many of the volumes which were later published by MIR under the ‘Little Mathematics Library, got published in the 1960s in the USA under ‘Topics in Mathematics’.

  9. damitr says:

    Yes you are right S.Sanjay, in garb of Soviet Russian being ‘ahead’ of USA in science and technology, the Americans tried to revamp their system of education. Billions of dollars, were poured into elevating science and mathematics standards in the USA. In the cold war era, the so called developing countries, were battleground for USA and USSR, in terms of books also. We had these books from Soviet Russia, meanwhile the publishers from the West were not far behind. Though not as cheap, the so called Eastern Economy Editions and others like that fall in this category [if you see, they mention the original US price in $, and the Indian discounted price]. But as regards to these ‘Mir’ books, they were really cheap, and affordable to most people. Along with the books on science and mathematics, you could get entire work of Lenin, Marx, and Engels for really cheap [read almost free] price. We can say that this was another dimension to the cold war struggle.

  10. s.sanjay says:

    in fact, if you visit the website of any american university and take a peep at the faculty in mathematics and computational sciences, you will find some russian or CIS origin individuals who have migrated post disintegration of the soviet union.

  11. arnob says:

    Hi, love the blog.. have you any coverage of the Children’s Books that Raduga and Progress used to bring out.. those were massively popular during the 80s and I have looked since but they are very hard to find now. Help?

    • damitr says:

      Hi Arnob,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, I will cover them soon, I have about 50 odd titles from those by Raduga and Progress. Will be posting information about them soon, and if possible upload the scans.

      D

  12. Dr. Lalit Patil says:

    Waiting for the scanned books.

  13. gnv64 says:

    I have about 15-20 Mir books. I have been scanning & uploading them for past 1 year.
    I have scanned & uploaded the following books so far:

    Experiments Without Explosions
    On Rare And Scattered Metals
    Elementary Order
    The Extraordinary Properties of Ordinary Solutions
    Why I’m Like Dad?
    Chemical Elements – How They Were Discovered
    Let’s Play Geometry
    A Spaceship In Orbit
    Greatest Speed
    Physics in Your Kitchen Lab
    This Fascinating Astronomy
    Yes, No Or Maybe
    I have the following which I am yet to scan:

    Silhouettes in Chemistry
    Our Planet the Earth
    The Grand Biological Clock
    Me or Not Me
    First Aid

    You can email me for more info. All my PDFs are fully OCRed with bookmarks & covers with file sizes of 6mb to 16 mb..

  14. KK says:

    Hi gnv64,

    Thanks for the information. This is amazing. I have a few hard copies of MIR books and have been looking to extend my collection. Could you please post the links of the books you have scanned.

    Thanks in advance

  15. anup kumar says:

    the books of mir publications r top class like biological books origin of man-nenstrukh, how reliable is the brain..etc. mir(peace) publications played a top priority during indo-soviet cultural tieup. many more mystery books on biochemical-biological astronomical science achivements that soviet union made came face to face through mir publications.
    great books.

  16. Saji says:

    Hi,Physical paradoxes and Sophism by Lange link is dead.pls update

  17. Sayeed says:

    Hi. Could anyone please tell me if Progress publishers (Progoti Prokashon) still exist? I have been looking for books, translated in Bengali, written by Vassili Ian 1.Genghis Khan (1939) 2.Batu (1942) 3.To Last Sea (1955). I managed to get Genghis Khan in Bangla translation but have been unable so far with the other two! Could anyone shed some light please?

  18. artworx says:

    I dont know how to say thank to you. I was in 4th standard too when i first read the Book ” All about the stars” in Hindi “Aao Doorbeen Dekhein” i have still that book and its very near to my heart. at times when russia was just like my second home in my imagination. i am searching Papa jab bachche the and Teen ghamandi billian. if anyone can share. once again thank you

    • Akash says:

      Hi Brother. I am looking for this book “Aao Doorbeen Dekhein” for quite some time. I had this book at my native but as I am away from home for long time, it just got missed and I am not able to find it. Can you please advise where can I book this book or if it all it is possible for you t share that book with me through email or somehow. Please advise me. My email id is AkashS04@gmail.com. Thanks in advance.

      Regards,
      Akash…

    • http://www.peoplespublishinghouse.in/ You can find Papa jab bachche the here. But I couldn’t find Teen Ghamandi Billian. Even I’m searching for it. Did you have a luck in finding it? If yes, then please share the details.

  19. s.sanjay says:

    dear artworx,
    why don’t you scan “aao doorbeen dekhen” and upload it?
    s.sanjay

  20. vijay m says:

    I am looking for a popular science title TEMPERATURE which I badly need. I have @ 100 + MIR titles which I can share. Could U kindly help.

  21. Amit Sharma says:

    kindly send me the link from where I can download all book from mir publications. my email id is
    amitget@rediffmail.com

  22. Sunl Parikh says:

    kindly send me the link from where I can download all book from mir publications. my email id is sunilparikh@ymail.com

  23. Krishna says:

    I saved the zip file of the book (Problems in Geometry); but there is an error in extracting the files. Could you please fix it? I tried another book; same problem exists for this book as well. Could you please fix this problem?

  24. jarban02 says:

    There is a chilean website with MIR books in spanish, and some of them, in other languages (english, french and portuguese)

    http://www.elibros.cl/

    Here you have a list with MIR books in english (available to download in PDF files)

    A course of Differential Geometry and Topology by A. Mishchenko – A. Fomenko
    http://www.elibros.cl/ficha_libro.php?id=18

    Introduction to Topology by Yu. Borisovich
    http://www.elibros.cl/ficha_libro.php?id=291

    Introductory Mathematics for Engineers by A.D. Myskis
    http://www.elibros.cl/ficha_libro.php?id=292

    Probabilities of the Quantum World by D. Danin
    http://www.elibros.cl/ficha_libro.php?id=415

    Problems in mathematical statistics by G. Ivchenko
    http://www.elibros.cl/ficha_libro.php?id=469

    Strenth of materials by N.M. Belyaev
    http://www.elibros.cl/ficha_libro.php?id=504

    Structural Mechanics by A. Darkov – V. Kuznetsov
    http://www.elibros.cl/ficha_libro.php?id=505

    The Relativistic Theory of Gravitation by A. Logunov – M. Mestvirishvili
    http://www.elibros.cl/ficha_libro.php?id=528

    Regards from the Basque Country.

    • damitr says:

      Thanks for sharing Jarban!

      Some of the books from this site are already in. For example Borisovich, Danin, Logunov, Ivchenko.

      D

  25. Saji says:

    Hi, Is there a way to get BS belikov General methods of solving physics problems or a link.Wil be very helpful
    Kudos for the gr8 efforts

  26. swapnil says:

    Hi friends I am searching for “At the crossroads of infinity” where do I get it (ebook).

  27. swapnil says:

    There is a website http://www.en.bookfi.org, you can download free any book from there..

  28. please follow my blog for the translated books in Indian Languages
    http://www.booksofsovietunion.blogspot.com

    • desperadomar says:

      That is a great blog, I know about some books where published through progress publishers in malayalam
      Recent death of moscow gopalakrishnan on TOI ,which is how I came to know that some books are there in malayalam.Any ways great effort. Great to see there are people who put effort to digitize these precious books even in my soil.Great work!!!!!.

  29. sara bhai says:

    In my childhood I got to read some soviet books. They are very fascinating and exciting for young children. Now I have none. Can someone do a favour to me with providing link for or providing scanned pdf for these old soviet books. I m interested in hindi english and punjabi soviet books. I shall be highly obliged to anybody who help me. My email id is shallytaran@gmail.com

  30. Shantanu Chauhan says:

    Hey damitr, first of all, dude, you are awesome. I found a 1989 book in my school library by mir a while ago, it was Electrons and Crystals from the science for everyone series and it was really fun so I searched and found Silhouettes of Chemistry of the same series but could not find anymore but when I started looking for these books I came across your site and you made my life awesome with all these great titles. Thank you for all this!

  31. Ankur says:

    I have myself printed 4 copies of the Childrens Picture Stories : Nikolai Radlov in very high quality paper in Denmark.

    I am selling one for Rs. 500 + postage (no profit no loss). Let me know if you are interested.

    Thanks and regards,
    Ankur Mehta.

    Email: ankurmehta1@yahoo

  32. Ankur says:

    I have myself printed 4 copies of the Childrens Picture Stories : Nikolai Radlov in very high quality paper in Denmark.

    I am selling one for Rs. 500 + postage (no profit no loss). Let me know if you are interested.

    Thanks and regards,
    Ankur Mehta

    ankurmehta1@yahoo

    • Anupam Dixit says:

      Dear ankur. MIR publication was from communist era which was against the capitalists unethical means of making money and you are doing exactly the same. I suppose mir titles owner damitr distributing these books for free and you are making hefty amount out of these.

  33. anirban ukil says:

    if anyone is interested in purchasing old soviet era books of mir publications /Progress publishers or raduga publishers please contact me anirbanukilgeet@gmail.com

  34. minu says:

    I still have my daughter’s collection.
    It is hard to part, I can feel her pleasure, astonishment and giggle in each book

  35. Rahul says:

    i have some soviet books for sale. you can contact rahul.3mcreation@gmail.com

  36. Dear Book Lovers,
    Where i can get soviet printed Malayalam (All Categories) Books ? If any body willing to sell Soviet printed malayalam books in bulk kindly let me know..
    santhosh@happyaccounts.in

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