In this enthralling but heart-breaking book the historian and journalist Oliver Bullough tries to find answers to a fundamental question about Russia: Why does a people turn to vodka for solace and what consequences does mass alcoholism have for a country? Bullough travels through Russia in the footsteps of Father Dmitry Dudko to trace how a fearless priest, who had brought hope and unity to his people, succumbed to the KGB. He exposes the ruthless finesse of the KGB’s enterprise in the former Soviet Union, the greed which has replaced ideology after the transition, and the continuing drinking problem of an entire nation. Despite inklings of optimism, it’s difficult to take heart for the future of Russia from his insightful report.
Book mark first published in the Cape Times, 25 April 2014, p. 12.
The Last Man in Russia and the Struggle to Save a Dying Nation
by Oliver Bullough
Allen Lane, 2013