ON RUSSIAN MUSIC collects Richard Taruskin's articles on the subject, published in a variety of periodicals from 1975 to the early millennium. For this volume, the critic has written an ample introduction, and for many of the articles he adds postscripts that discuss the media fallout from his remarks.
One thing should be made clear: this collection really only covers Russian music up to Shostakovich. While fans of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Glazunov, Prokofiev, etc. will be quite happy with it, there is a noticeable lack of interest in the composers who came of age in the 1960s and beyond. There are two articles covering festivals of lesser-known Soviet and post-Soviet composers, but the remarks are quite general. Sofia Gubaidulina is only mentioned a couple of times, in lists of composers with no further details. The only time Alfred Schnittke substantially appears is for his comments on Prokofiev, not for his own music.
I must admit that I have little interest in the earliest composers that Taruskin treats, but when he discusses the early and middle Soviet era, I find his views enjoyable. Taruskin takes up many times the tendency for Western critics to claim that Soviet works they liked were secretly dissident, even when there is no evidence for it (and occasionally there's evidence to the contrary). Taruskin does ascribe a doubleness to Shostakovich, but notes that the covert element is self-pity and and self-consolation, not dissidence. The obsession with secret programmes in his music thus gets it wrong. As Taruskin writes, "To jump from such expressions of disaffection to blunt anticommunism (or pro-Westernism), as so many reviewers of the Glikman letters have done, is a gross misstep."
Another persistent theme is the responsibility of putting on overtly Stalinist material. Taruskin (in)famously believes Prokofiev to be a titan of 20th century music, but his music doesn't exist in a vacuum, and to uphold certain works without mentioning their context betrays Stalin's victims.
Like all critics, Taruskin has a few opinions that one won't agree with, that's fine. But there's the occasional misunderstanding. He speaks of "Karlheinz Stockhausen's enviously admiring response to the destruction of the World Trade Center" when, as those who familiar with the composer's nutty personal cosmology would know, the response was neither envious nor admiring.