About the book
This book is a set of reflections and impressions of an American woman living in Moscow for a number of years spread over four decades. It's about experiencing the place as a foreigner through living there daily, from life as a graduate student to life as the wife of the American Ambassador to Russia.
“The reason I chose to focus on everyday life is because most works don't. They tend to focus on academic fields in politics, economics, law, and sociology, rather than on what it is like to be an ordinary person. The book is also distinctive because it is not an anecdotal snapshot of a moment or a year, but a story told over decades of the Soviet Union's evolution from awesome super power to disintegrating empire and through a roller-coaster rebirth of Russia.”
“This book is like a script for a documentary spanning four decades when an especially astute and literate observer watched Russia emerge from stagnation and enter a period of dramatic economic, social, and political change and, on many fronts, upheaval.”
—Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution.
"Naomi Collins takes the reader on a fascinating ride through the last forty years of Russia's turbulent history, beginning as a graduate student and ending as the wife of the American Ambassador. Because she writes so well, the ride is always fun, informative and insightful. Read, enjoy, learn!"
—Marvin Kalb, Murrow Professor Emeritus, Harvard University.
"Naomi Collins's book conveys the atmosphere and feel of these changing times, describing settings and scenes, and the people in them, in a pointillist style."
—William Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science, Amherst College