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RUSSIA: Mark Taplin

From Moscow, Cameron Sawyer comments on Mark Taplin, Open Lands: Travels Through Russia's Once Forbidden Places: "Taplin's trip took place in 1992, eleven years ago, eleven revolutionary years during which it is hard to imagine any country and its mentality changing more completely. The book sounds interesting, but he is describing a place as remote, nearly, as the Marquis de Custine's Russia of the early 19th century". RH: See "Letters from Russia - Marquis De Custine Anka Muhlstein" ( .. George Kennan called this book the best thing ever written about Russia, no doubt in part because of de Custine's trenchant observations on Russian despotism. De Custine's criticism of Russia had a big impact on Russia. Have Russians heard of Taplin's book? Has it been translated, or is it likely to be? Even though it may be dated, like de Custine's book, it provides valuable information about Russia at a given period.

Ronald Hilton - 5/5/03