Russia is dying from within. Oligarchs and oil barons may still dominate international news coverage, but their prosperity masks a deep-rooted demographic tragedy. Faced with staggering population declineand near-certain economic collapsedriven by toxic levels of alcohol abuse, Russia is also battling a deeper sickness: a spiritual one, born out of the countrys long totalitarian experiment.In The...
Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Basic Books; 3/31/13 edition (April 30, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
Amazon Rank: 740946
Format: PDF ePub Text djvu ebook
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For anyone interested in the recent history of the Soviet Union and the successor states of the Former Soviet Union, this is a must read. Simply the best book on this topic I have ever read, with the possible exception of Catherine Merridale's Night...
n Russia, award-winning journalist Oliver Bullough uses the tale of a lone priest to give life to this national crisis. Father Dmitry Dudko, a dissident Orthodox Christian, was thrown into a Stalinist labor camp for writing poetry. Undaunted, on his release in the mid-1950s he began to preach to congregations across Russia with little concern for his own safety. At a time when the Soviet government denied its subjects the prospect of advancement, and turned friend against friend and brother against brother, Dudko urged his followers to cling to hope. He maintained a circle of sacred trust at the heart of one of historys most deceitful systems. But as Bullough reveals, this courageous group of believers was eventually shattered by a terrible act of betrayalone that exposes the full extent of the Communist tragedy. Still, Dudkos dream endures. Although most Russians have forgotten the man himself, the embers of hope that survived the darkness are once more beginning to burn.Leading readers from a churchyard in Moscow to the snow-blanketed ghost towns of rural Russia, and from the forgotten graves of Stalins victims to a rock festival in an old gulag camp,The Last Man in Russia is at once a travelogue, a sociological study, a biography, and acri de coeur for a dying nationone that, Bullough shows, might yet be saved.