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15 November 2018

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Murderers in Mausoleums

That Eurasia has had more than its fair share of tyrants more or less in the Ungern-Sternberg mold is the impetus for Jeffrey Tayler’s new book Murderers in Mausoleums. Setting out on a journey from Moscow to Beijing that is bookended by the eponymous mausoleum residents (Lenin and Mao), Tayler wants to look at how life is being lived in the villages and towns of the Eurasian space today, unfiltered by analysts or media, to see how people are getting by, to understand how Eurasians can so value liberty yet so idealize dictators. It would be impossible to summarize what he finds, but if you have read Tayler’s River of No Reprieve, about his trip down the Lena River, you know that half the fun is in the journey.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2009