Sunday 15 January 2012
Geoffrey Hosking, Russia and the Russians
I've kept this book checked out from the library for more than two months. Not because it is thick - more than six hundred pages. When the mood and the book are right, I can swallow such bricks in less than two days. Not even that there is something wrong with the book. It is all right and proper as far as history books are concerned - informative, smoothly-written, explanatory.
Why, then, I couldn't bite through it for so long? Perhaps it's because the overall feeling I've had when reading Russia and the Russians was that I'm not actually reading for pleasure, but EDUCATING myself. Now, don't know how about you, dear reader, but to willingly grasp such a book I need to be either in a very 'self-developing' mood or so desperate to run away from reality into written pages that I'll read anything I can lay my hands on.
I may sound critical here but in this particular case I'm quite convinced that it's not the book that should be blamed, but my own perception, caused by absolutely non-literary matters. Anyway, here's more about Russia and the Russians:
- indispensable to anyone who happens to be interested in, well, Russia and the Russians
- valuable to anyone who wants to thoroughly understand sources and history of communism, both in theory and practice
- communism tends to be unquestioningly labelled as 'evil', but Hosking refrains from such a quick judgement. He explores utopian beginnings of the system, highlights mistakes made and generally does good job explaining why it didn't work
- overall, quite worth recommending to anyone who wants to broaden his or her general knowledge
Not very inspiring, I'm afraid, but informative.
And I am so glad I can return it now.