Read this book! First reviews for “Memoirs of a Russianist, volume II: Russia in the Roaring 1990s”

I am delighted to share with readers the first “review” of my latest book which appeared on its web page within days of the book’s release:

Top review from the United States


5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!

Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2021

Fascinating firsthand account of work, politics, and life in Russia in the 1990s. You should read it! Very relevant to today.

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For those unfamiliar with “Russialist,” this is the pen name of David Johnson, editor-publisher of Johnson’s Russia List (JRL), a daily digest of news and commentary about Russia which has more than 500 subscribers among international affairs experts at universities across the United States and at think tanks in Washington, D.C.

Otherwise, in related developments Professor Thane Gustafson of Georgetown University informs me that he will be “adding this book to the reading for his Georgetown course on Russia.”  Hopefully, some of you holding rank of professor who are regular readers of my website and LinkedIn accounts will do the same.

This book is fated to become a standard reference work from among primary sources on Russia in the late 20th century both because of my diary entries and because of my extensive quotations from print media of the period, both the “underground” weekly newspapers serving the expat community in Moscow and St Petersburg and the international mainstream dailies.

I use this opportunity to announce that on 24 April I will be delivering a presentation talk on this book to the Centre culturel et scientifique de Russie en Belgique. The talk, followed by questions and answers from registered participants, will conducted in three languages – Russian, French and English – with simultaneous translation facility in Zoom. All those wishing to register are invited to contact the Centre culturel or myself via my website

I also point out that while I am concentrating promotional efforts on volume II of the Memoirs for the obvious reason that the period in question, the 1990s, holds greatest interest for the general reader, volume I of the Memoirs, subtitled “From the Ground up,” going back to my childhood, education and professional life to 1993 has its own very specific merits beyond setting out the experiential and mental baggage that the author of volume II brought with him to his expatriate existence in Russia in the 1990s.

The author had a high point in his career in 1978 when he was one of 150 corporate chairmen from the United States seated at a banquet in the Kremlin to honor Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev’s birthday. That was also a time when my personal fate was interlinked with the fates of my Soviet counterparts: we all were creatures of Nixon’s and Brezhnev’s détente policy and were dependent on normal, civilized relations between the two superpowers which came crashing down with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late 1979. I firmly believe that volume I sets out insights that have enduring value for today.  

Good reading to all!

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2021