Tim's Reviews > Russka: The Novel of Russia

Russka by Edward Rutherfurd
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's review
Mar 02, 2009

really liked it
Read in March, 2009

Great book - confirming I knew little about Russia. The best part of Rutherfurd's approach, for me, is he provides the reader a glimpse into how a Russian views the geography around the homeland - a Russian homeland, the motherland beset by the Mongol menace from the South across the steps, the suspicion of the West,intertwined with the tension between Russian Orthodox and Christianity, combined in those Catholic Germans and Poles; then there is the menace of powerful Sweden and the Baltic states, and finally the Cossacks, the love/hate relationship of what becomes Ukraine, and where the White Russians were based during the conflict between the Bolsheviks as they consolidated power. All giving me a sense of the insecurities of these people or insularity perhaps.

So, I just thought he worked hard and effectively to draw out the inner thinking and perspectives of the nation, leading more clearly to why it fell to (and allowed to grow) the tyranny of the Soviet system.

The hardest part was to wade through all the long names - Bobrov, Romanov, and Popov were the easy ones. Remember the full names of Doestevsky, etc for the other extreme.

A long, illuminating, book.

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