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"Mr. Feifer gives us a revealing, opinionated primer...consisting of historical asides, family
reminiscences, interviews with public figures and ordinary people, political assessments and sharp snapshots of the
country across its nine time zones, from the gaudy Moscow restaurants... to the distant wastelands of Siberia, where
cold and poverty still define daily life."―Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"Gregory Feifer's RUSSIANS joins a list of classic books by Western correspondents who have covered the politics and
culture of what was once the Soviet Union...The particular strength of his account is how he places his reporting of the
country's myriad and devastating problems within a broad understanding of Russian (and not just Soviet) history."―New
York Times Book Review
"This entertaining and engaging book offers a set of deep insights into the tumultuous events and experiences that have
shaped the lives and attitudes of the Russian people over the past twenty years. Informed by his studies of Russian
history and culture, his personal family history, and his many years of on-the-ground reporting from multiple points
across Russia's vast landmass, Greg Feifer takes us from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the aftermath of
Vladimir Putin's re-election for a third term as president in 2012. There is something in this book for anyone and
everyone who wants to understand what lies behind the stereotypes of today's Russia."―Fiona Hill, director, Center on
the United States and Europe, Brookings Institution and co-author of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin
"This is one of the best-ever books written by an American journalist trying to make sense of Russia. Full of
wonderfully poignant family reminiscences, acute cultural insight, and off-color Russian jokes."―Stephen Sestanovich,
author of Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama
A luminous study of a land and its people. Feifer gives a vivid portrait of today's Russia from the bottom up-based on
numerous conversations with Russians, his intrepid travels to Russia's far-flung regions, and his own family history,
intimately and wonderfully told. Feifer's analysis of Russia's political system is gloomy. Corruption, thuggishness, and
mafia-style rule flourish under Mr. Putin. But what makes this book stand out is Feifer's sympathy for ordinary
Russians, caught between an autocratic tsarist-communist past and an uncertain globalizing future. They emerge from
"RUSSIANS as enterprising, stoical, brave, and adaptable, with a capacity for loyalty and friendship, and above all
survival, in a country that both bewitches and defies the West."―Luke Harding, Guardian, author of Mafia State: How One
Reporter Became an Enemy of the Brutal New Russia
About the Author
Gregory Feifer is a former Moscow correspondent for National Public Radio who has reported from Russia for
almost a decade. During its resurgence under Putin, he filed from other former Soviet republics and across Russia, where
he observed the effects of the country's vast new oil wealth on an increasingly nationalistic society as well as
Moscow's rekindling of a new Cold War-style opposition to the West. In 2008, Feifer covered the Russia-Georgia war from
the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia and traveled to Siberia, Belgrade and Berlin to produce a series on the
Kremlin's use of Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, as an instrument of foreign policy.
Before joining NPR in 2005, Feifer-whose mother is Russian-lived in Paris and New York, and has written for numerous
outlets, including The New Republic, The Washington Post and World Policy Journal. He witnessed the coup d'etat attempt
against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991, and later, on a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs, examined the
end of the Yeltsin era and Russia's subsequent transformation into an authoritarian state.
Feifer is the author of The Great Gamble, a history of the Soviet war in Afghanistan and coauthor of Spy Handler with
former KGB colonel Victor Cherkashin. He lives in Boston with his wife Elizabeth, son Sebastian and daughter Vanessa.