Comrades Portraits

Alan Bookbinder, Author, Olivia Lichtenstein, Author, Richard Denton, Author Plume Books $10.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-452-25852-5
Written by a group of BBC reporters who toured the Soviet Union extensively, this book consists of detailed looks at the lives of a cross section of Soviet citizens. The subjects include an Estonian fashion designer, a restorer of ancient Islamic sites in Samarkand, a Leningrad woman about to receive her teaching degree, the secretary of the town council on the Pacific. Throughout these profiles, the authors deftly weave information about Soviet society, discussing such problems as alcoholism and divorce, the lack of consumer goods, inadequate housing, bureaucracy, tension between Russians and non-Russians and the like. At the same time, this book offers valuable insight into the Soviet system. For example, a chapter about the trial of a Moldavian peasant woman for theft shows that the court is more interested in ""education'' than ``punishment.'' An enlightening, intriguing look at daily existence in the Soviet Union. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1986
Release date: 06/01/1986
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