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Describes the geography, plants and animals, history, economy, language, religion, culture, sports and arts, and people of Russia.
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Grade 5-8-This visually attractive book has sharp, interesting photographs and a gracefully written text. The arrangement of 10 chapters further subdivided into topics covered in one to three pages helps to ease readers into the subject. Geography, history, the arts, religion, and daily life are covered. Sidebars offer specialized information on events, people, and culture as well. It is a shame that some errors crept into an otherwise fine book. There is a serious blunder on a map that places the Chechen Republic in Siberia. Another mistake is that St. Petersburg is said to be situated on the west end of the Baltic Sea, instead of the east. On daily life, it is not true that people who live in the country often do not have electricity or that television is still rare in homes. It is also misleading to say that Vladimir Putin "has even allowed American armed forces to use former Soviet military bases," without clarifying that these are in independent states in Central Asia, not in Russia. While Rogers covers many of the same topics treated in Terence Rice's Russia (Gareth Stevens, 1999), he offers more details on some subjects and writes for a slightly older audience, so libraries may wish to have both. Students with excellent reading skills would also be wise to consult Laurel Corona's The Russian Federation (Lucent, 2001) for more historical background.
Elizabeth Talbot, University of Illinois, Champaign
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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