After two and a half years as NPR's Moscow bureau chief, David Greene travels across the country - a 6,000 mile journey by rail, from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok - to speak with ordinary Russians about how their lives have changed in the post-Soviet years. Reaching beyond the headline-grabbing protests in Moscow, Green speaks with a group of singing babushkas from Buranovo, a teenager hawking "space rocks" from last spring's meteor shower in Chelyabinsk, and activists battling for environmental regulation in the pollution-choked town of Baikalsk. Through the stories of fellow travelers, Greene explores the challenges and opportunities facing the new Russia: a nation that boasts open elections and newfound prosperity yet still continues to endure oppression, corruption, and stark inequality.
Set against the wintery landscape of Siberia, Greene's lively travel narrative offers a glimpse into the soul of 20th century Russia: how its people remember their history and look forward to the future.
©2014 David Greene. Recorded by arrangement with W.W. Norton & Company. (P)2014 HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books.