Bubnova Natalia
About and Based on the Book by Mikhail Taratuta `Russians and Americans`. Book review: Taratuta M. America and Russia. We are so Different. Moscow: Alpina Publisher; 2019. 318 p
Publication Type:

ISSN 2313-1438

DOI 10.22363/2313-1438-2019-21-3-577-591

In her review of Michail Taratuta’s recently published volume “Russians and Americans”, Natalia Bubnova offers a thorough analysis of how the book depicts the troubled state of affairs in the U.S.-Russia relations, the historic and cultural factors that formed the national identities of Americans and Russians and the resulting differences in the mentalities of the two peoples, as well as the state of the current domestic life in the United States and Russia, the particularities of their health care and educations systems, their special features of gender relations, the functioning of local charity organizations, etc. Having lived and worked for many years in America, Taratuta, on a whole number of topics, focuses primarily on the United States. These include the ongoing political schism under the Trump’s Administration, the migration crisis and racial contradictions, the gun control problem, and the rise of both the left- and right-wing radicals. While siding with Taratuta’s assessments on a number of issues, Bubnova offers an alternative viewpoint on others, yet acknowledges the importance of the book’s overall perspective on the United States as a vibrant, resourceful and dynamic society, and not necessarily aggressive or conspiring against Russia. Though proceeding from an assumption that Americans and Russians have few similarities, Taratuta simultaneously believes that it is imperative to overcome the current confrontation, for which he blames both sides. The review points out to the social trends - some of which are reflected in the book - which, despite the political alienation, nevertheless manifest certain signs of cultural rapprochement.

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