Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia

Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia

by David Greene


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Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia by David Greene

Travels with NPR host David Greene along the Trans-Siberian Railroad capture an overlooked, idiosyncratic Russia in the age of Putin.Far away from the trendy cafés, designer boutiques, and political protests and crackdowns in Moscow, the real Russia exists.Midnight in Siberia chronicles David Greene’s journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, a 6,000-mile cross-country trip from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. In quadruple-bunked cabins and stopover towns sprinkled across the country’s snowy landscape, Greene speaks with ordinary Russians about how their lives have changed in the post-Soviet years.These travels offer a glimpse of the new Russia—a nation that boasts open elections and newfound prosperity but continues to endure oppression, corruption, a dwindling population, and stark inequality.We follow Greene as he finds opportunity and hardship embodied in his fellow train travelers and in conversations with residents of towns throughout Siberia.We meet Nadezhda, an entrepreneur who runs a small hotel in Ishim, fighting through corrupt layers of bureaucracy every day. Greene spends a joyous evening with a group of babushkas who made international headlines as runners-up at the Eurovision singing competition. They sing Beatles covers, alongside their traditional songs, finding that music and companionship can heal wounds from the past. In Novosibirsk, Greene has tea with Alexei, who runs the carpet company his mother began after the Soviet collapse and has mixed feelings about a government in which his family has done quite well. And in Chelyabinsk, a hunt for space debris after a meteorite landing leads Greene to a young man orphaned as a teenager, forced into military service, and now figuring out if any of his dreams are possible.Midnight in Siberia is a lively travel narrative filled with humor, adventure, and insight. It opens a window onto that country’s complicated relationship with democracy and offers a rare look into the soul of twenty-first-century Russia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393351873
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/05/2015
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 366,515
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David Greene is cohost of NPR’s Morning Edition. He is NPR’s former Moscow bureau chief and has spent more than a decade covering politics and events from the White House and abroad. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Rose, a restaurant owner and fellow traveler.

Table of Contents

Author's Note on the Map ix

Map x

Prologue xiii

Introduction 3

1 Rose 19

2 Sergei 25

3 Boris 46

4 Another Sergei 63

5 Liubov 72

6 Nina 92

7 Alexei 112

6 Vasily 121

9 Galina 134

10 Marina 151

11 Angelina 159

12 Andrei 174

13 Polina 185

14 Ivan 198

15 Tatiana 210

16 Nadezhda 216

17 Yet Another Sergei 233

18 Taisiya 252

19 Igor 266

20 Olca 274

21 Vitaly 286

Acknowledgments 395

Index 299

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Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
MikesMom1 More than 1 year ago
I was already familiar with the voice of David Greene from NPR. It was easy to shadow him as he and friend Sergio traveled across Siberia. I came away with an understanding of the political history and how it has affected the lives of these people. I feel I know them a little better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have any interest in russia or its people this is a must read! I look forward to more greene books in the future!
BobVA More than 1 year ago
Having traveled extensively in Russia myself, by train and by riverboat, I found myself recalling many of my own observations and experiences. Greene has captured the mindset of contemporary Russians better than any other author I have come across.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
David Greene is an exceptional writer. Add his NPR experience, he presents this book in a clear and informative manner. A great read!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my husband who is enjoying it very much. It provides great insight into the lives of everyday Russians. Everyone with an interest in the country of Russia and its citizens, should read this book!