27 March 2007

Arctic Mirrors

I've just finished Arctic Mirrors: Russia and the Small Peoples of the Northby Yuri Slezkine. The subtitle is exactly what this book is about- Russia's and the Soviet Union's interactions with the native people of Siberia. This book isn't an overview of the native people of Siberia as some reviews claim, but the book never makes that claim. Slezkine goes through the history of Russian involvement with Siberia from the earliest days of yasak to the end of the Soviet Union, focusing mostly on the Soviet years. He also spends quite a bit of time on Soviet ethnography (or the lack of it, at times).

Overall, an interesting book, particularly if you're interested in Siberia and its native people. Slezkine writes very well and is not at all dense. Recommended.

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