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The Last Man in Russia

Oliver Bullough



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Basic Books
30 April 2013
History; European history; 21st century history: from c 2000 -; Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000; Politics & government
Russia is dying from within. Oligarchs and oil barons may still dominate international news coverage, but their prosperity masks a deep-rooted demographic tragedy. Faced with staggering population decline--and near-certain economic collapse--driven by toxic levels of alcohol abuse, Russia is also battling a deeper sickness: a spiritual one, born out of the country's long totalitarian experiment. In The Last Man in Russia, award-winning journalist Oliver Bullough uses the tale of a lone priest to give life to this national crisis. Father Dmitry Dudko, a dissident Orthodox Christian, was thrown into a Stalinist labor camp for writing poetry. Undaunted, on his release in the mid-1950s he began to preach to congregations across Russia with little concern for his own safety. At a time when the Soviet government denied its subjects the prospect of advancement, and turned friend against friend and brother against brother, Dudko urged his followers to cling to hope. He maintained a circle of sacred trust at the heart of one of history's most deceitful systems. But as Bullough reveals, this courageous group of believers was eventually shattered by a terrible act of betrayal--one that exposes the full extent of the Communist tragedy. Still, Dudko's dream endures. Although most Russians have forgotten the man himself, the embers of hope that survived the darkness are once more beginning to burn. Leading readers from a churchyard in Moscow to the snow-blanketed ghost towns of rural Russia, and from the forgotten graves of Stalin's victims to a rock festival in an old gulag camp, The Last Man in Russia is at once a travelogue, a sociological study, a biography, and a cri de coeur for a dying nation--one that, Bullough shows, might yet be saved.
By:   Oliver Bullough
Imprint:   Basic Books
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 241mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   517g
ISBN:   9780465074983
ISBN 10:   0465074987
Pages:   296
Publication Date:   30 April 2013
Recommended Age:   From 13
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Oliver Bullough is Caucasus editor for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and author of Let Our Fame Be Great, which won the Overseas Press Club Cornelius Ryan Award. He lives in London.

Reviews for The Last Man in Russia

Kirkus Reviews <br> In a vivid, colorful account of his journeys, Bullough starkly chronicles the visible evidence of Russia's despair in abandoned villages, ruined farms, shuttered factories and ubiquitous drunkenness...Part biography, part travelogue, a perceptive, sad and very personal analysis of the decline of a once-great nation. <br><br> Booklist <br> An inquisitive traveler, Bullough conveys a vividly descriptive impression of contemporary Russia. <br><br>Andrew Meier, author of The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service <br> Few in the West dare take note of 'the Russian cross' the birth and death rates that head in opposite directions and forecast a grim future for the world's largest country. But Oliver Bullough travels Russia with eyes wide open. The Last Man in Russia is an archeological dig in search of a moral compass. Tracing the life of a single priest--from believer to dissident to apologist for the state and even Stalin--he lays bare the troubles haunting the 'new Russia.' <br>

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