Why did I love this book?
I found this book to be full of insights into Russian thinking and culture. I never met Hingley, but would have loved to—his work has had a real influence on my own approach to studying and thinking about Russia. I find him a fluent writer who can take complex and controversial subjects and make them accessible. This is such a rich book. Hingley tries to explain problems of perspective in thinking about a different culture, before moving on to address a wide range of themes from Russian literature to history, geography, and politics. Times and attitudes change, but I find that it helps to frame some persistent questions about Russian life, and this book is such a good way to understand how things do—and don’t—happen in Russia.