The Spine of Russia

In the Fall of 2015, Russian and American journalists Mikhail Mordasov and Paul E. Richardson traveled 6,000 kilometers from Russia’s northwestern corner in the Arctic to Sochi, in the tropical climes along the Black Sea.

They collected over 3,500 photos, recorded over 100 hours of interviews, and penned 100,000 words. 

Now, finally, their epic journey is captured in two pathbreaking books: 

The Spine of Russia      |      Driving Down Russia's Spine

The Spine of Russia is a 200-page, museum quality, hardcover photo book that is entirely bilingual (English and Russian). It is a vivid portrait of modern Russian life, and includes over 40 environmental portraits of “heroes” interviewed in depth by the journalists (each of whom was asked their definition of patriotism). Organized in a unique, non-linear style to allow readers to construct their own trip across Russia, this is a volume you will treasure for years to come. Here's a preview:

Driving Down Russia's Spine is a 330-page travel essay book that includes the full story of the trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. It is a story told with humor and with the insight derived from the author’s three decades of intimate interactions with Russia. You can read a sample story here.

There is some overlap between the text of the two books, but generally they are designed to compliment each other nicely, to give a full picture of the trip, and of modern Russia as it exists behind the drama of the major headlines.

The Spine of Russia project was funded through the generous support of over 300 Kickstarter Backers, many of whom received copies of the book or photos (which you can view and buy here) as benefits of their backer-hood, and who were treated to frequent blog posts about the trip along the way (most all of which were edited and integrated into Driving Down Russia's Spine).


Watch the Book Trailer video



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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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