SMITH'S MOSCOW by Desmond Smith


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Smith is a rare journalist who actually loved his Moscow beat -- which makes him positive even about the negative here. Breathes there another visitor who has ever found Soviet Customs pleasant and breezy (as Smith insists)? . . . who's ever gotten anything but a dirty look when addressing a Russian as Tovarich (very bad advice in any case)? . . . who hasn't felt like screaming after a long schlepp to a museum only to discover one of those seemingly permanent and suspiciously arbitrary ""Closed for Repairs"" signs (apparently that's never happened to Smith, which makes him the only one ever)? . . . who hasn't been cowed and intimidated by Intourist? Smith's Moscow is as intoxicating as three fingers of Stolichnaya -- whereas less toasting is what a tourist needs to be prepared for the hassles sure to come. Otherwise -- and there are those aplenty -- this is an indispensable guide for its hard information: a listing of hotels (academic, to be sure, since you won't have any say), restaurants, phone numbers, special instructions for businessmen, etc. -- facts generally hard to come by. To make Moscow pleasurable as well as instructive, a traveler might just as well adopt Smith's attitude of ""nichevo"" -- that's c'est la vie in French, manana in Spanish. . . in English +!&%!*.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Knopf