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.
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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