“I always imagine Russian history,” suggests American writer and veteran expatriate, Jennifer Eremeeva, “on a huge, 3D IMAX screen, surround sound booming with a jumbo bucket of popcorn in your lap and huge blue drink at your side.”
Eremeeva should know: as a former tour guide and Ivy League-educated historian, Eremeeva is adept at making Russia’s complex history both entertaining and digestible for non-academics. She strolls expertly but lightly through her material, tracing the winning formula for Russia’s effective rulers back to the Tatar-Mongols: revealing why Ivan may not have been so Terrible; explaining why Catherine so totally awesome, and asserting that neither Peter the Great nor Stalin would ever tweet anything.
Eremeeva encourages us to peek inside Empress Elizabeth’s baroque boudoir; she deconstructs Gorbachev’s curiously-split personality and shows us exactly where the bodies are buried. Eremeeva’s unique fusion of humor and history and inimitable writing style brings the riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma that is Russia into hilarious focus in this compact and highly readable guide to thirteen centuries of her history.
For readers embarking on a visit to Russia or an exploration of the country’s rich literature and culture, this engaging primer offers a succinct, informative, and highly entertaining introduction to the country’s complex and expansive history.