Part of a new travel series, these books collect excerpts from memoirs, correspondence, and histories that detail the life of two historic and popular cities, one event at a time. The authors demonstrate their intimate knowledge of the locations with short yet fascinating capsule views of various historical and geographic aspects. Varying in subject (some people will naturally be drawn to certain aspects of history more than others will) but almost never in quality, the excerpts exude a remarkably uniform sense of careful selection. The tenor of the two books is slightly different, most probably in the reflection of the personalities of the cities themselves. Though both cities have sad and violent pasts, the St. Petersburg companion recounts a history that is almost unrelentingly bleak. Beginning with Tsar Peter's command that 100 noble families move to the barren frozen wetlands of present day St. Petersburg in November 1716, and continuing through such notable events as a young Fyodor Dostoevsky coming very close to execution, this title reveals a rather sad and somber view of a life under the tsars. The Dublin companion has more of an upbeat lilt and also contains short introductions with brief biographical information before most of the vignettes. The St. Petersburg companion lacked these but was no poorer for it. Both books are extremely well done and recommended for academic and public libraries with travel collections.-Travis McDade, Ohio State Univ., Columbus Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.