Thursday, September 29, 2011

Russia: Part I

My sophomore year in high school, I planned to convince a couple of friends that we could travel across the Soviet Union on the trans-Siberian railroad--from Vladivostok to Moscow.  I could never convince even one friend to commit but over the years, I bought books to guide me across Russia.  Turns out that there a few books on the topic.  Here are mine.

1.  Murders in Mausoleums: Riding the Back Roads of Empire between Moscow and Beijing, Jeffrey Taylor  (2009).   Taylor traveled the steppes of sourthern Russia, the Caucuses, meeting a wide range of ethnic groups.  A great travelogue penetrating Russia's remote central regions.  Bought new. 

2.  Through Russia's Back Door, Richard Lauterbach (1947).  Lauterbach was Time Magazine's Moscow Bureau Chief who traveled by train across the Soviet Union shortly after WWII.  Black and white photos showing the expanse of the country.   Bought used at State Department bookstore.

3.  American in Russia, Harrison Salisbury (1955).  Salisbury traveled 75,000 miles around the Soviet Union in 1949.  Bought used at State Department book store. 

4.  Russian Journal, John Steinbeck (1948).   Prize winning novelist Steinbeck traveled the Soviet Union after WWII.   Photos from war photographer Robert Cappa.   Bought used at Elliott Bay Books, Seattle, WA. 

5.  Russian Panorama, K.P.S. Menon (1962).   The Indian Ambassador to the Soviet Union for 10 years.  Published in India by a branch of the Oxford Press.   Bought used at the State Department book store.  Contains press clippings from Indian newspapers. 

6.  Seeing Russia, E.M. Newman (1928).   Focused on European Russia.  High quality book with black and white photos.  Bought used in Charlottesville, VA book store. 

7.  Red Odyssey: A Journey through the Soviet Republics, Marat Akchurim (1992).   Russian poet and writer, Akchurim travels through the former Soviet Republics shortly after their breakup.  Bought used at Warrenton Library.  

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