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A fascinating and beautifully written book
on 28 July 2013
This is not in any way a comprehensive history of Russia or the Soviet Union. Instead it is a record of Dr Polonsky's journeys around Russia pursuing things that interest her such as Dostoevsky, Chekhov, railway lines, provincial towns and their museums, and the history of a banya (a sauna) in Moscow, as well of course as the evil perpetrated by Stalin and his henchmen such as Molotov.
People are at the heart of the stories she tells us - some known to us in the West, others just ordinary people she met. She has obviously done a massive amount of research in preparing the book, but she wears her learning very lightly, and writing this has clearly been a labour of love.
Thank you, Rachel - I really do not know when I have enjoyed reading a non-fiction book more.