Gr 7 Up-The introductory chapter, "Suffering and Survival in Today's Moscow," provides the theme for this book, which emphasizes the difficulties weighing on the lives of contemporary Muscovites. Corona doesn't have much positive to say about the Soviet past either, which she describes with distorted statements. She writes with no sense of the different time periods in Soviet history, claiming, for example, that in the Soviet era "people lived in fear of the sound of boots on the staircase at night." While this was true during the Purges, how can she characterize the whole era this way? Addressing the situation of Muscovites today, the author likewise tends to be unremittingly negative. There are chapters on the callous and dishonest wealthy Muscovites and on the poor living in dire straits. It is ironic that the foreword states that "stereotypes are the archenemies of learning." While she admits that Moscow "still compares very favorably to other major Western cities in terms of overall crime," on the same page she writes that "no one today expects to be safe or to keep their families from harm, either in the streets of Moscow or in their own homes." The final chapter, "Having Fun, Moscow Style," includes a highlighted section entitled "Drinking and Drowning." Dull, black-and-white photographs accompany the text. No one would deny the social problems plaguing Russia, and the author uses a multitude of quotes to back up her viewpoint, but unfortunately she can't seem to discriminate between items that make news and more typical behavior.-Elizabeth Talbot, University of Illinois, Champaign Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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