Moscow Days: Life and Hard Times in the New Russia

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Overview

Moscow Days is the wry, frank, and poignant personal account of life in the new Russia by writer and journalist Galina Dutkina. In the first book by a Russian to detail everyday life in the post-Soviet era, Dutkina describes Moscow's newly rich, newly poor, and those caught in between. She tells of struggling Russian youths, increasingly violent gang members, conniving beggars, the new Russian intelligentsia, mafiosos-turned-politicians, and ailing pensioners who cannot afford doctors. She shows us the food ...
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1996 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. New Hard cover print. Book is from Bookstore Inventory and might have Slight shelfwear, Page edge Dinginess from being shelved or a ... Remainder mark. Book has been Displayed: WH-08.02.10 Sewn binding. Paper over boards. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Moscow Days is the wry, frank, and poignant personal account of life in the new Russia by writer and journalist Galina Dutkina. In the first book by a Russian to detail everyday life in the post-Soviet era, Dutkina describes Moscow's newly rich, newly poor, and those caught in between. She tells of struggling Russian youths, increasingly violent gang members, conniving beggars, the new Russian intelligentsia, mafiosos-turned-politicians, and ailing pensioners who cannot afford doctors. She shows us the food stores bare of Russian staples such as beef or fish but crammed with French bonbons. She speaks about the difficulties of raising children, and the plight of the modern Russian woman. Along the way she offers new insights into why her country finds itself in such a predicament.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Moscow journalist Dutkina will elicit gasps with her observation that the ``Evil Empire'' was ``a great empire that gave its inhabitants a sense of national pride.'' Yet, although she does not yearn for communism, neither does she countenance capitalism, which has plummeted 25% of Russians into poverty, with food costs consuming between 40% and 60% of family budgets. Imported luxury goods dominate the marketplace, and Russians are in a buying frenzy because, according to Dutkina, they fear the abundance could soon disappear. She depicts a nation of layabouts and shysters: ``Half of Russia is selling, half is buying; nobody is producing.'' In Dutkina's scenario, lotteries, TV game shows and the stock market have enslaved the public with promises of easy riches. Prostitution and crime are expanding; so are religious cults. In summing up the new Russia, Dutkina quotes Tolstoy: ``Everything had gone wrong in the Oblonsky household.'' The despairing economic picture she presents will be familiar to readers who follow Russian events, but, contrary to the dour Dutkina, it's no secret that the command economy was also inequitable. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Dutkina is an editor and translator at a Moscow publishing house who has kept her same, respectable job and stayed in Moscow throughout the past four years of drastic change, not trying to join the new entrepreneurs. She watches as inflation erodes her salary (until food can cost 40 to 60 percent of a household budget), worries for her child's safety with the rampant crime in the city, and laments that women's lot has not improved. The complete breakdown of the former social structure has left her bewildered and unsure of whom she should admire or of how to regard the newly successful businesspeople. Her only solution is to urge her compatriots to consider their children's futures. Her point of view differs greatly from that of a foreign journalist on a brief posting; larger collections might consider adding this.-Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., N.Y.
Booknews
An intriguing personal account of everyday life in the New Russia by writer and journalist Galina Dutkina. Of note are the author's descriptions of the plight of modern Russian women and changing attitudes toward food and clothing, as well as poignant observations of the newly rich and newly poor of Moscow. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Brian McCombie
Moscow-based editor and journalist Dutkina reveals a frightening and chaotic picture of the new Russia. To visitors, Russia may seem a place of plenty. Moscow's shops and department stores brim with cosmetics, Coca-Cola, Japanese cameras, and Italian clothes. But most Russians can't afford these items, not when an iron costs more than a university professor's monthly salary. Prices of consumer goods and food have risen more than 600 times in three years. To make ends meet, some Russians work up to six jobs, punching in at one and then scurrying off to another, and doing none of them well. Dutkina's Russia is a place where swindlers regularly offer stocks in corporations that don't exist, and gangsters and black marketers hawk everything from Soviet tanks to kidnapped children. Through all this, Dutkina asserts, the average person still believes that life will improve.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568360669
  • Publisher: Kodansha International
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Pages: 238
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.95 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2002

    Hard to Put Down

    As informative and revealing as it is easy to read, Moscow Days gives the reader a closer look at the lives of the modern-day Russian people, their often shocking past, and their uncertain future. This book is an excellant account of a country undergoing profound change in the political and economic realms, and of the effects of those changes on its proud, yet tired citizens.

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