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    Review ------ "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 Read more ( javascript:void(0) ) 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. Read more ( javascript:void(0) )