Following his Pulitzer Prize-winning Lenin's Tomb, a report on the crack-up of the Soviet Union, New Yorker staff writer Remnick brilliantly plunges readers into the chaotic, supercharged milieu of Russia since Gorbachev's ouster in 1991. Rejecting gloomsayers' prophecies of anarchy or a return to hardline Communism, he declares that Russia's long-term prospects for stable democracy are promising, though the immediate future looks grim indeedDa prognosis he blames in no small measure on Boris Yeltsin's unwillingness to create a consensus for societal change and his opportunistic oscillation between democratic to nationalistic postures. The book is filled with fresh reportage and trenchant interviews with such figures as reactionary Vladimir Zhirinovsky, messianic free-market economist Yegor Gaidar, novelist and gadfly Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Moscow media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky and many others. Remnick illuminates the recent decline of Russia's newspapers and the emergence of state-controlled TV as the dominant news medium, the growth of both opportunity and inequality, the shrunken status of writers and intellectuals amid a paradoxical flowering of a politicized avant-garde. This is the most comprehensive book we have on post-Communist Russia. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1997 Release date: 02/01/1997 Genre: Nonfiction
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