Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Russian Moment

Editor: Bill Harris

First line: The United Nations does its work in six different languages, and in the nearly fifty years since it began helping to make the world smaller hundreds of words have become interchangeable in all of them.

Why you should read this book: The moment referred to in the title turns out to be the very last moment of the Soviet Union, a historical snapshot the creators of this book probably did not anticipate as it was conceived. Following a short synopsis of Russian history, beginning with Peter the Great and ending with the new concept of perestroika, the book presents a series of lovely photographs, including vast, sweeping panoramas and small, posed portraits, with the intention of creating an accessible picture of the large and multifarious nation. With a coffee-table sensibility, this book seeks to project only the most beautiful depiction of the country, although Communist restrictions probably prevented the photographers from revealing anything less than picturesque.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're looking for hard facts, not pretty pictures.

No comments: