A journalist for National Public Radio in the US, David Greene decides to travel thousands of kilometres from Moscow to Vladivostok on the iconic Trans-Siberian line. On the train and in the many Siberian outposts he stops as he meets a wide range of ordinary Russian people - from a group of Beatles-singing babushkas to soldiers and struggling entrepreneurs - with situations arising that are at times comical, awkward or poignant. Travelling in third class, he learns to adhere to the train's unwritten social codes and to navigate the unfamiliar environment of Siberia, occasionally shadowed by security agents. Conjuring up other famous travellers to the regions such as Anton Chekhov, David Greene manages, through the events he describes and his reflections and conversations on the journey, to construct a complex, compassionate and astute portrait of Putin's Russia far away from the glamour and prestige of Moscow.
Greene takes the train from Yaroslavl to Vladivostok to reveal what he knows about Russia and Russians, and to address the unfinished business of understanding the place. After clattering through some stereotypes and the traditional nod to Tolstoy and Chekhov, the pace picks up. Despite being NPR’s Moscow bureau chief, Greene couldn’t speak Russian, but he’s a quick learner and a humorous guide. He also loves Russia, and his enthusiasm, and thirst for adventure, shines through as the train trundles into forests, past cities and through the long nights. He gets to know the passengers, creating a montage of recent Russian history, consumes vast amounts of noodles, and thinks out loud about what it means to be Russian in today’s Russia. As he mulls on their right to be not quite like Americans, he finds himself and his fellow passengers pulling into the terminus on the Pacific coast.
Publication date: 15/02/2015
Publisher: Alma Books Ltd
|Publication date:||15th February 2015|
|Publisher:||Alma Books Ltd|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, The Real World, Travel,|
|Categories:||Politics & government, European history, 21st century history: from c 2000 -,|
David Greene is cohost of NPR's Morning Edition. He is NPR's former Moscow bureau chief and has spent more than a decade covering politics and events from the White House and abroad. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Rose, a restaurant owner and fellow traveler.More About David Green