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19 November 2018

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Book Review

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The Russia Reader

If you purchase just one non-fiction book on Russia this year, make it this one. An eclectic, rich compendium of readings that covers a very broad swath of Russian history and culture, this volume has foreign traveler’s impressions of Russia (from the tenth and eighteenth centuries, among others), 1930s show trial transcripts, historians’ essays on everything from the revolution to dachas, writings by Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin and others, excepts from the Domovoy, memoirs, poems, maps, photographs, and on and on. Over thirty selections are translated into English here for the first time.

Surely to be a popular choice for college survey courses on Russian history, this volume offers a wealth of knowledge for anyone with an interest in things Russian. And it does not require systematic reading, front to back. In fact, it rewards the serendipitous reader: no matter where you dip into it, you are sure to be enthralled.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: July/Aug 2010