9781883642877 / 1883642876

Open Lands : Travels Through Russia's Once Forbidden Places


3.85 avg rating34 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Steerforth, 1998



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About the book:

" An extraordinary and beautifully written chronicle that combines the best of different genres: travel writing, journalism, and history . . . A modern classic tale of a foreigners travels through Russia."--Kirkus Reviews

VAST FORBIDDEN AREAS, once marked in red on official maps of the Soviet Union, were suddenly thrown open for travel in 1992 when the United States and Russia signed the "Open Lands" agreement which allowed free travel throughout both countries. For nearly 75 years whole cities and regions, roads, rail lines, and rivers, had been colored crimson on the maps, hidden from the prying eyes of foreigners by the secretive Soviet government.
Taplin interpreted the Open Lands agreement as an invitation to hit the road, visiting seven cities and regions  from the Arctic to the Caucasus, from Gorky in the west to Kamchatka in the far east  which had been barred to foreigners for decades. Taplins report of what he found, Open Lands, is an exhilarating, rugged journey into the world of ordinary Russians.
"While Open Lands does not pretend to be a scholarly work," wrote the Moscow Times, "there is enough research here to satisfy the historian. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read . . . a heartfelt evocation of lands and peoples struggling to come to grips with their past and their future."

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