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Vodka, Tears and Lenin's Angel: My Adventures in the Wild and Wooly Fsu (Former Soviet Union)
A reporter relates her impressions during her three-year stay in the disintegrating Soviet Union.
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published June 1st 1997 by St. Martin's Press
(first published 1997)
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Post-perestroika Gorbachev and during Yeltsin's "reform" era, Jennifer Gould recounts her experiences in the frankly insane world of Russian politics. Your political ally status can be revoked at any time. Keeps you on your toes no doubt. Yeltsin's antics and foray into genocide (The Chechen war) lays the ground for hardliners and empire builders like Putin. The KGB and it's tentacles are inextricably intertwined with Russian society. She has a somewhat staccato style of writing and names and ...more
Mar 01, 2009 Myriam rated it really liked it · review of another edition
This is a collection of articles by Jennifer Gould, a Canadian journalist who spent many years in Russia in the 90s. We read about the famed mafia, about the poor, the street children, the insanely rich, Chechen fighters, etc. Not necessarily an accurate description of present-day Russia (things have changed since then!), but a very interesting description of Russia shortly after the collapse of communism. Gould has a great writing style. I couldn't put the book down!
I began reading this at the start of a recent (first) trip to Moscow, and it turned out a fine choice, lending a layer of perspective to the entire experience. This is not so much autobiography or travelogue (the straight-forward narrative backgrounder bit is missed), but retelling of her socio-political reportage during the post-Soviet early '90s. It's fantastic and amazing reporting on its own, and made for a terrific, richly vivid baseline for this tourist.
Vast travel by an American journalist living and working in Russia after the fall of Communism. This book was very informative and fascinating to read. I especially liked the personal experiences she had living in Moscow and her travels to remote places such as Kazakhstan. Good stuff.