ALONG THE ROADS OF THE NEW RUSSIA by Hans Koningsberger

ALONG THE ROADS OF THE NEW RUSSIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Koningsberger, a literary man and professional traveller (American Romance, Love and Hate in China), tries to draw a sensitive road map. But like all ""foreigners' maps"" of the Soviet Union, this one has large restricted areas blacked-out. One gets an impressionistic, often interesting but strictly an outsider's -view of the comrades and their country as Koningsberger proceeds on a leisurely drive from Moscow to the Ukraine, into shops, restaurants, and churches, and across the border to Romania and Hungary. He tells us of his pique at political fashion which changes the names of cities, streets--and battles. He admits there is little real chance for a tourist to talk with the Russians except in restaurants and taxis and that for him this was a major limitation. But the highpoint of his journey is the long interview with Hya Ehrenburg and a counter-interview with the literary avant garde. Finally, there is his image of Russians as opposed to Westerners--as members of a team: ""The need, and the possibility, to belong seem indeed still part of the quality of life."" Like Edmund Wilson in Europe Without Baedeker, Koningsberger is an opinionated traveller, but just as cultivated a commentator as he is controversial.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1968
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux