“In this picaresque story of adventure, David Greene reaches beyond Putin’s Kremlin across Siberia to show us Russian life in the Raw—the gritty stoicism, surprising warmth and generosity, black humor, and resilience of the narod, the average people. A storyteller with a human touch, Greene finds Russians tested by tragedy and war as he joins them in their cramped apartments, jammed trains, and gulping beer and pickled horse sausage in their steam baths, facing an uncertain future with an unexpected streak of inner wildness. His Russians are stolidly patriotic and, even now, drawn mostly to strong leaders, resigned to tough justice and preferring stability and harsh rule to the chaotic uncertainties of democracy, their personal lives ‘full of poetry, pain, and laughter.’” Hedrick Smith, author of The Russians and Who Stole the American Dream

“Greene is a great storyteller, and what a story he has to tell. A fascinating and thought-provoking journey deep into Russia’s physical vastness and soul. Greene’s landscape is inhabited by a cast of characters that light up both and would have made Anton Chekhov proud. A first-rate tale that puts you aboard the Trans-Siberian Railroad on the journey of a lifetime.” Aaron David Miller, distinguished scholar, Wilson Center, and author of The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President

“Beautifully written… The sharply observed vignettes, combined with the moving, elegiac quality of the prose make it a hard book to put down. David Greene’s travels provide insights and context for some of the more dramatic recent events in Russia that will appeal to both the casual traveler and the seasoned observer.” Fiona Hill, coauthor of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin and director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution

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