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Russian Course: Pt. 1 Paperback – Sep 1981

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
An odd yet true masterpiece 17 Dec. 2004
By Chukcha the Reviewer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I can't believe this gem just lies here unnoticed! This book is not just another outdated Russian textbook; every text makes Samuel Beckett fade in comparison.

The author deliberately tells simple stories making (surreal) fun of Soviet propaganda cliches. Peek inside to get the idea about what I mean.

While some parts of lexicon are clearly outdated, I believe wacko humor is a fun and excellent way to learn a language. These texts are just catchy. While as a native Russian speaker I cannot make use of it, I wish there were more language textbooks like this one.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Most surreal fun you'll ever have with a textbook 9 May 2005
By DYM - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is sheer brilliance right here, and I cannot believe this textbook is not available more widely. Designed for intermediate-level students, the book uses surreally funny texts and conversations to illustrate the lessons. And when I say they are "funny" , I don't mean they include a cutesy joke or two. No no no. I mean they are sublimely and outrageously funny, capturing all the little ironies of Russian life.

The author would have made a great writer for Futurama or Family Guy, and the book -- besides its value as a textbook -- is a source of endless entertainment for anyone familiar with, or interested in, the Russian-speaking culture.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I learned first year Russian from this book 12 July 2008
By E. Kahn - Published on
Format: Paperback
Many years ago, I studied Russian with this textbook. It was the funniest and most effective foreign language class I ever took (of the seven languages I know). Although the take on Soviet life is dated, Lipson's linguistic theories completely revolutionized and simplified the notorious idiosyncratic Russian verb system into an easily learned system of rules. The Soviets hated him so much that the final chapter of the course is a scathing article about him in Pravda. Short of teaching foreign languages through pornography, there is no better system of engaging students than through Lipsonian humor. By the way, this is the only course I know of that introduces relative clauses in the first chapter.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Lipson's Marvellous Text Still Available at a Reasonable Price 31 July 2013
By Robert Schlenker - Published on
Format: Paperback
I took Lipson's course from the master himself at his home in Cambridge Massachusetts the summer of 1963. He was then a graduate student of Horace Lunt at Harvard. Lunt and Lipson were so different I cannot imagine how they ever got along. Lipson's course was famous at MIT where he was well-known by the student body and where I was in graduate school preparing for my reading exam in Russian as part of my PhD program. I learned Russian using Lipson's text which was then under development and under his direct tutelage in his parlor at home with half a dozen other course attendees. The learning speed was breathtaking to me who was a veteran of courses in three other languages and knew how quickly or unquickly learning in those other much simpler languages had proceeded. Lipson was a shooting star teacher with a truly five star text!

Unfortunately, leaves one with the impression that parts 1 and 2 of Lipson's three part text are no longer in publication and therefore must be purchased from Amazon Marketplace sellers. The current prices asked by these sellers for part 1 range from $380 to $2462.46 as of July 30, 2013. Nice money if you can get it!

If you truly want Lipson's textbook check with the publisher, Slavica Pub., which Amazon lists in its description of Part 1. You will find that all three parts of the textbook and the teacher's manual too are currently in publication and available at extremely reasonable prices. The three part textbook plus the teacher's manual can be had for less than $100 total from Slavica. The Amazon Marketplace pricing renders Lipson's marvelous text inaccessible. The publisher, on the other hand, assures that it is accessible to those who want to learn Russian from a master teacher.
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Hilarious 19 Aug. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I studied Russian back in the 80's, but I never ran across this book. Although I'm only basing my critique on the "Look Inside" option, the book is hilarious. I was sure it had to be a joke, but one reviewer says they actually used this book in his studies.
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