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The Other Side of Russia


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About the Author

A food and travel writer, Sharon Hudgins has taught for the University of Maryland University College in Germany, Spain, Greece, Japan, Korea, and Russia. Hudgins currently resides in McKinney, Texas, with her husband, Tom.


Siberia? The Russian Far East? Who would travel there by choice and survive to tell the tale? At least that's the popular notion of travel and life in this remote part of the Russian Federation. Hudgins works to dispel this concept and gives us insight into the people, history, and geography of a part of the world rarely visited by Westerners, much less Americans. In 1993, Hudgins (Russian studies) and her husband Tom (economics) were tasked by the European Division of the University of Maryland's University College to set up degree programs and teach in the urban centers of Vladivostok (Russian Far East) and Irkutsk (Siberia). During their two years of work there, they traveled extensively throughout the region (including several trips on the Trans-Siberian railroad and excursions to Lake Baikal). Rather than focus on only the pleasures and inconveniences of daily life, Hudgins mingles her insights with useful explanations about the history and development of these regions, almost 6000 miles from the capital, Moscow. Readers will enjoy Hudgins's lively narrative style and the inclusion of photographs. An excellent bibliographic essay closes the book and gives suggestions for further reading. Recommended for larger history and travel collections in public and academic libraries.-Olga B. Wise, Austin, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Sharon Hudgins has written a vivid and engrossing book about a part of the world that's both geographically and ethnically complex. She's done much to make the unfamiliar familiar. - Larry McMurtry; ""Rare is the person who can step into the wonderland of Siberia and capture the culture and spirit of its people. Sharon Hudgins has done that and more. This is a warm, considered, and completely engaging work from start to finish... a window into the soul of Siberia."" - James Cramer, President & CEO, World Learning; ""... an animated examination of grim, grimy, and unpredictably gracious ordinary life in the extraordinary place she calls Absurdistan."" - Alfred Friendly, Jr., coauthor, Ecocide in the USSR, and former Newsweek Moscow Bureau Chief

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