The resurgence of national and historical awareness among the people of what was once the USSR has been nowhere stronger than among the Russians themselves. Some of the larger projects of rediscovery amount to a reinterpretation of traditional culture. This carefully annotated collection of recent studies of Russian folk religion, village organization and family life, including the rituals associated with childbirth, special attention to women's roles and to the specificity of Siberia in Russian culture, will be a revelation to a wide array of readers. It is intended for use not only in anthropology departments but more widely interdisciplinary courses in Russian studies, peasant studies and women's studies.
Twelve papers have been translated from the Russian and arranged in sections on religion and ritual; gender and family life; and customary law, daily life, medicine, and morality. The appendices present programs for collection of material on the customs and rituals associated with childbirth and on the peasant commune and family. The bibliography lists Western-language and Russian-language sources. An introduction by the editor sets the context for the new scholarship--the surge of national and historical consciousness among the Russians themselves and others. Paper edition (unseen), $24.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In the wake of the USSR's collapse, more than 25 million Russians found themselves living outside Russian territory, their status ambiguous. Equally uncertain is the role they will play as a factor in Russian politics, local politics and relations among the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. This volume, prepared under the sponsorship of the Kennan Institute, offers a comprehensive and amply documented examination of these issues.