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Slightly unfocused but accurate,
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This review is from: The Last Man in Russia: And The Struggle To Save A Dying Nation (Hardcover)
This book is a combination of trying to explain why Russia is going downhill fast and also trying to paint some kind of portrait of one of the most famous Soviet dissidents.
In the first and most interesting category Mr.Bullough focuses on the consumption of alcohol and the falling birth rate in Russia. He draws on official statistics and the picture he presents is both frightening and accurate. Having had many drinks with Russians in all sorts of circumstances I can only verify that what he presents is the actual situation. Many commentators focus on official statistics and forget that a huge amount of alcohol is also produced as Samagon (=Moonshine) and more and more people are turning to that. This is a decease in Russia that has so far not a good prognosis.
The Falling birth rates is not only a Russian problem, we have the same problem in the rest of Europe and the US but in Russia it is by far worse. Few countries have so far come up with a solution to this, but it is one of the greatest problems we have in the modern world. So far, only minor attempts have been made to solve this problem in Russia but without any long-term effects.
The Other part of the book focus on presenting the life of an Orthodox priest that started out as a dissident and ended as a KGB supporter and an anti-Semite. It is an interesting story but maybe not for a full book.
The Combination of these two attempts to explain where Russia is heading in the future is slightly unfocused and not all together that rewarding but it is well worth reading. If you been to Russia and know Russians you will recognize the country in this book.