Baker & Taylor
Examines the economic collapse, declining populations, and alcohol-related abuses that the author believes are indicative of Russia's communism-related decline, as the author follows the life of a dissident Orthodox priest, Father Dimitry Dudko.Perseus Publishing
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.Book News
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.
Part biography of Father Dmitry Dudko, part travelogue tracing his steps from former gulags to the Moscow churches in which he preached, this book is ultimately about social conditions in modern Russia. Bullough (editor, Institute for War and Peace Reporting) largely focuses on the decline in population, along with a dramatic rise in alcoholism to make the case that Russia is essentially a dying nation. Ultimately he sees the cause as spiritual, caused by the country's 70 year experiment with communism. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)Baker
The award-winning journalist and author of Let Our Fame Be Great reveals the economic collapse, declining populations and alcohol-related abuses that the author believes are indicative of Russia's communism-related decline, citing the role of a key contributor while drawing on visits to such regions as a gulag, a Moscow church and the headquarters of a white supremacist group. 12,500 first printing.