The Other Side of Russia

The Other Side of Russia : A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East

3.84 (39 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Travel to post-Soviet Siberia and the Russian Far East with author Sharon Hudgins as she takes readers on a personal adventure through the Asian side of Russia - an area closed to most Westerners and many Russians prior to the 1990s. Few people have ridden the Trans-Siberian railroad in winter, stood on the frozen surface of Lake Baikal, feasted with the Siberian Buryats, or lived in the "high-rise villages" of Vladivostok and Irkutsk. One of only a handful of American women who have lived and worked in this part of the world, Hudgins debunks many of the myths and misconceptions that surround this "other side of Russia". She depicts the details of everyday life, set within their cultural and historical context - local customs, foods and festivals, as well as urban life, the education system, and the developing market economy in post-Soviet Siberia and the Russian Far East. Hudgins describes the multi-course meals washed down with champagne and vodka, often eaten by candlelight when the electricity failed, the hors d'oeuvres made of sea slugs and roulades of raw horse liver. She finds herself a guest at Christmas parties, New Year's banquets, Easter dinners and birthday celebrations. Throughout the book, Asian Russia's natural beauty, thriving cities and proud people shine from the pages, proving that it is not only a land of harsh winters and vast uninhabited spaces, but also a home to millions of Russians citizens who live and work in modern metropolises and enjoy a rich cultural and social life.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 149.9 x 243.8 x 33mm | 748.44g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 24 b&w photographs, 4 maps, references, index
  • 1585442372
  • 9781585442379
  • 2,498,465

Review quote

..".a vivid and engrossing back about a part of the world that's both geographically and ethnically complex. She's done much to make the unfamiliar familiar." ..". a vivid and engrossing book about a part of the world that's both geographically and ethnically complex. She's done much to make the unfamiliar familiar." "Like Hedrick Smith's "The Russians", Sharon Hudgins'" The Other Side of Russia, " takes the reader inside Russia, to the daily life of people, and the economic and political realities in the post-Soviet era. It goes well beyond being a travelogue, and provides insight well beyond the confines of Siberia. A great read."--Helen Hundley "Sharon Hudgins has written a vivid and engrossing book about a part of the world that's both geographically and ethnically complex. She's done much to make the unfamiliar familiar." --Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author "As an eyewitness portrayal of Russia's East during the first years of the post-communist era, this book is destined to become a key primary description of social change in an often forgotten region of the world. Highly recommended."--E. J. Vajda, Western Washington University "Like Hedrick Smith's "The Russians," Sharon Hudgins'" The Other Side of Russia, " takes the reader inside Russia, to the daily life of people, and the economic and political realities in the post-Soviet era. It goes well beyond being a travelogue, and provides insight well beyond the confines of Siberia. A great read."--Helen Hundley "Chapter 7, entitled 'The High-Rise Village, ' is an instant classic in the literature on Russia. This is a wonderful book that has something for all...it will entertain everyone from lay persons to Slavic scholars."--Victor L. Mote, University of Houston and author of Siberia: Worlds Apart "Sharon Hudgins' perceptive memoir of survival in modern Siberia is full of anecdote, conversation, humor, food, friendships and hardships. In a society that, she reports, "placed little value on truth," she kept her eyes and notebook and mind open. The result is an animated examination of grim, grimy, and unpredictably gracious ordinary life in the extraordinary place she calls Absurdistan." --Alfred Friendly, Jr. Co-author, Ecocide in the USSR, and former Newsweek Mosc "Like Hedrick Smith's The Russians, Sharon Hudgins' The Other Side of Russia, takes the reader inside Russia, to the daily life of people, and the economic and political realities in the post-Soviet era. It goes well beyond being a travelogue, and provides insight well beyond the confines of Siberia. A great read."--Helen Hundleyshow more

About Sharon Hudgins

An award winning food and travel writer, Sharon Hudgins taught for the University of Maryland University College in Germany, Spain, Greece, Japan, Korea, and Russia. She served as an administrator for the university's two undergraduate degree programs in Siberia and the Russian Far East. Hudgins currently resides in the United States with her husband, Tom.show more

Table of contents

The road to Russia; Vladivostok - capital of Russia's wild east; Riding the rails - the Trans-Siberian railroad; Irkutsk - the Paris of Siberia; Lake Baikal - the sacred sea of Siberia; Among the Buryats; The high-rise village; Feasts and festivals; The market economy; School days; Farewell to Russia.show more

Rating details

39 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 26% (10)
4 44% (17)
3 26% (10)
2 0% (0)
1 5% (2)
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