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Russian Experiences

The Raven and Marie Claire

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Publishing

Published : 2002

Copyright : The Raven and Marie Claire 2002

ISBN-10 : PB 1-58939-177-2
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-58939-177-2

Publisher's Write-Up

Dear Readers

This book tells you, the civilized citizens of civilized countries, about real life in the Communist country, recently called the USSR, now known as the Russian Federation, its post-Communist "heir" and "legal successor."

Though you may be aware of these countries, you might like to know more about what it's like to actually live in them.

If so, then this book is for you.

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Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Denise M. Clark (010802) Rating (9/10)
Review by Dan Murr (010802) Rating (8/10)

Review by Denise M. Clark
Rating 9/10

Do you know the difference between Communism and National Socialism? Do you have any idea what it was like to live in Post World War II Russia? How about the Cold War period? Do you know what happened during the turbulent period of upheaval during the late 1980's to the early 1990's, a period that witnessed the death throes of the former entity known as the USSR?

Unless one went through it, experienced it, and lived it, one can't ever really know. But a man known as 'The Raven' lived through it, and with the help of co-writer Marie Claire, he tells us his story. The Raven was born into a period of poor economy, poor training and few supplies. No luxuries of supermarkets, shopping malls, and fashion stores and private transportation. Due to lack of proper medical care, The Raven suffered a hearing loss accompanied by a speech impediment, thereby forced from then on to deal with prejudice because of his handicap. The Raven grew up in Baku City, the capital of Azerbaijan, his life was by no means easy. Because of the conflicts between native Armenians and Azerbaijan natives, he and his brother were not allowed to go to school for long stretches of time. Ultimately, The Raven and his family left Baku, where they had lived all their lives, and moved to a region around Moscow where The Raven continued his education. Yet even there The Raven had to struggle to gain that education, one that finally enabled him to rise above the poverty and narrow-mindedness of many of Russia's inhabitants.

Russian Experiences is a wonderful book that tells the story of one man's rise above the restrictive conditions surrounding him. The story is not only well written, but also a very personal saga of the history and transition of one of the mightiest nations in the world and the consequences of its complicated political history. Through the eyes of The Raven and Marie Claire, a reader of this tale begins to understand there is much behind the façade of Russia, one rarely seen or talked about on such a personal level. This book is a primer for one to gain a better understanding of what Russia was and is all about, a book told through the eyes of one man who fought against prejudice and poor living conditions to gain an identity he could be proud of. Russian Experiences is an excellent format for anyone to utilize, from either a social or personal perspective, in order to experience and learn about Russia's history, culture, and the indomitable spirit of many of its people. This reviewer gives it an A in its writing style and in its presentation of both history and humanity.

Denise M. Clark (1st August 2002)

Review by Dan Murr
Rating 8/10

Right from the start, I liked this book written by The Raven and Marie Claire. If you were not born yet in 1939 when the world was in an upheaval, reading this book provides a glimpse of what Communism is about. You quickly understand the reason for the Chinese Communist revolution in China in 1945; and why the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The first page of this book gives you instant answers.

They wrote that the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was a country built by Communists since 1917, and whose aim was to establish a worldwide Communist regime. "(Karl) Marx," they also wrote, "believed, without questioning the results, that a Communist revolution should be worldwide." Obviously, at this writing, that has failed with the dissolution of the USSR into the new Russian Federation.

So if you like a bit of military history and how governments function, this is a brief but most interesting internal look at Communism inside the former Soviet Union and its different phases of life. The author, The Raven, born in Baku City, in Azerbaijan in what once was the USSR, writes this short but very informative book that gives you a look at what happened after the Communists came into power in 1917. He tells of the pitfalls and why the USSR failed in its quest to establish Communism in Finland when the Russians went to war against the Finns in 1939-40. He also explains how a lack of communication was so costly to the Red Army when it was losing so badly to the Germans in the early days of World War II and the enemy was knocking on Moscow's doors. As a ten-year-old, I can remember the war between Russia and Finland in our newspaper headlines, and especially World War II when the Germans were trying to take over Russia and the fighting around Stalingrad in the bitter Russian winter.

The Raven also writes about his health problems in his youth created by a doctor, who treated him incorrectly, which led to a partial loss of hearing and damage to his nervous system. Of equal importance is some of the unfair treatment of The Raven in later years by one particular dean in his quest for an education. Specifically, The Raven tells how a single unanswered question evoked a negative response from the head of the linguistics department concerning answers to all other questions on the exam. The Dean suddenly decided that The Raven's previous answers were wrong, and offered new questions for The Raven to answer. Fortunately, The Raven managed to transfer into computer studies and received much better treatment despite living in inadequate housing and crowded situations.

It's a very revealing book and I would highly recommend it, especially to students and historical buffs who are interested in the old Soviet Union and the new Russian Federation. A four-star effort for certain.

Note:This review can be re-published at no charge, as long as proper credit is given to the author.
Dan Murr (1st August 2002)

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