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"Gregory Feifer's RUSSIANS joins a list of classic books by Western correspondents who have covered the politics and culture of what was once the Soviet Union...The particular strength of his account is how he places his reporting of the country's myriad and devastating problems within a broad understanding of Russian (and not just Soviet) history."—New York Times Book Review
"This entertaining and engaging book offers a set of deep insights into the tumultuous events and experiences that have shaped the lives and attitudes of the Russian people over the past twenty years. Informed by his studies of Russian history and culture, his personal family history, and his many years of on-the-ground reporting from multiple points across Russia's vast landmass, Greg Feifer takes us from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the aftermath of Vladimir Putin's re-election for a third term as president in 2012. There is something in this book for anyone and everyone who wants to understand what lies behind the stereotypes of today's Russia."—Fiona Hill, director, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings Institution and co-author of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin
"This is one of the best-ever books written by an American journalist trying to make sense of Russia. Full of wonderfully poignant family reminiscences, acute cultural insight, and off-color Russian jokes."—Stephen Sestanovich, author of Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama
A luminous study of a land and its people. Feifer gives a vivid portrait of today's Russia from the bottom up-based on numerous conversations with Russians, his intrepid travels to Russia's far-flung regions, and his own family history, intimately and wonderfully told. Feifer's analysis of Russia's political system is gloomy. Corruption, thuggishness, and mafia-style rule flourish under Mr. Putin. But what makes this book stand out is Feifer's sympathy for ordinary Russians, caught between an autocratic tsarist-communist past and an uncertain globalizing future. They emerge from "RUSSIANS as enterprising, stoical, brave, and adaptable, with a capacity for loyalty and friendship, and above all survival, in a country that both bewitches and defies the West."—Luke Harding, Guardian, author of Mafia State: How One Reporter Became an Enemy of the Brutal New Russia
Posted August 24, 2014
Posted April 5, 2014
I was disappointed. Feifer offers some interesting anecdotes and judgments about Russia. But the linkages between the two are not always apparent. Its narrative is too disjointed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2014
I found it clearly written, riveting and educational. For the layperson (e.g. me), it was perfect. A really good combination of history, current events--and personal anecdotes, which are always helpful to put a point across, and certainly interesting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 21, 2014
It is an excellent book about the conditions inside Russia today. The author is from Russia and was an NPR correspondent. Therefore, there could be nothing closer to the truth in his writings in this book. He appears to write about the situation in Russia about the average citizen there without prejudice. The book opens with the privileged oligarchs who live there and then focuses on how the rest of the people live.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 19, 2014
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