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Reader recommendation: Russia in Private

Monitor readers share their favorite book picks.

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Russia in Private by Richard Yatzek, professor emeritus of Russian Language at Lawrence University, tells how two professors of Russian at a small liberal arts university in Wisconsin take 20 of their students each year for nine successive years (between 1991-2000) to Russia and satellite nations, traveling by van.  Each 20-week odyssey involves visiting many landmarks under strict scrutiny, but more importantly getting to know and understand the Russian psyche, culture, and the roles each citizen plays. More than a travelogue, this book is filled with observations Yatzcek makes, relationships the groups forge, and psychological and philosophical analyses of the Russians and their country.