RUSSIAN SPRING by Norman Spinrad


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 A thoughtful, moving story of politics and space flight in the early part of the 21st century. Jerry Reed grew up on memories of the moon landing, determined to join the effort to make humanity a spacefaring species. But by the time he finishes school, the American space program has stagnated. The US has grown more repressive and militaristic, while Europe, united in the Common Market, and progressive, post-Gorbachev Russia have become vital powers and models of social freedom. When Jerry gets a covert offer to work in the very active European Space Agency, he chooses his dream over loyalty and defects to Paris. There, he meets and marries Sonya Gagarin, a young Russian businesswoman, and the rest of this long novel follows Jerry's oft-thwarted pursuit of space; Sonya's fitful rise in the Russian bureaucracy; and the disparate journeys of their two children--Robert to America to try to revive its dormant spirit, and Franja to the expansive Soviet Union. Spinrad (Agent of Chaos, 1988, etc.) provides a convincing vision of one possible future, wisely allowing the larger political and social changes to play out around the central story of Reed and his family's smaller-scale struggles. An affecting novel about living for a dream, and living up to its demands, not settling for pragmatic compromises.*justify no*

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1991
ISBN: 0-553-07586-1
Page count: 656pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991


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