Carlisle (Island in Time, 1980, etc.), granddaughter of dramatist Leonid Andreyev and the child of Russian ÇmigrÇs, played a part during the Sixties in having Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle and then The Gulag Archipelago see light in the West. For this, she was soon reviled by both Solzhenitsyn (the feud is addressed in her 1978 defense, Solzhenitsyn and the Secret Circle) and the Soviet government, which refused to allow her back into the country for 20 years. With glasnost, however, Carlisle's circumstances changed, and in two separate trips, in 1989 and 1990, she was able to return to Russia to see family and literary associates. Though heavily larded with extracts from her previous books, this account of those journeys gives a picture of what she found: a nation and culture frightened, giddy with the buried art of the past, balefully anti-Semitic, and utterly tapped-out. Carlisle spends too little time, though, with reportage--favoring instead rehashes of literary history and anecdotes about Pasternak, Akhmatava, and Sinyavsky, as well the taking of as ever-ready opportunities to slam at her enemy Solzhenitsyn as the malign force behind current Slavophile/fascistic tendencies. Ill-organized, self-absorbed, self-congratulatory--and a lot less newsy than might justifiably have been expected from someone as intimately connected and knowledgeable.