paulcarp (paulcarp) wrote,

Mystery Book Shipment #12

Received: 1 carton of books and stuff from an anonymous sender.

Journey Across Russia: The Soviet Union Today
, by Bart McDowell, photographed by Dean Conger.

This book, from 1977, provides an interesting snapshot of a time and land that once were. No, that's not quite right. It provides a snapshot, as filtered by Soviet officials, of a time and a land as it was once allowed to be presented to western audiences.

First paragraph:

LET ME WARN YOU  with words a thousand years old. I found them in Soviet Central Asia where they begin the epic poem Manas, as sung by generations of bards in Kirgizia:
      ...Half of this is truth;
      Half of this is probably not truth....
      Don't hold it against us if we add something
      Or miss something.
      We're telling you the way we heard it....

Because this is a National Geographic book, the photos are not just illustrations; they are as a tune, if the text were the lyrics. The Soviet Union is very different here from the 1970's US I grew up in -- ballet, building on permafrost, discouragement of religion -- but the people are very much the same. They want to work hard, play well, and cherish families.

I want to holiday on the Black Sea now.

Thanks flankleft !

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Tags: mystery books
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