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Cornell University Press
The Unmaking of Soviet Life: Everyday Economies after Socialism / Edition 1

The Unmaking of Soviet Life: Everyday Economies after Socialism / Edition 1

by Caroline HumphreyCaroline Humphrey


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In order to understand today's Russia and former Soviet republics, it is vital to consider their socialist past. Caroline Humphrey, one of anthropology's most highly regarded thinkers on a number of topics including consumption, identity, and ritual, is the ideal guide to the intricacies of post-Soviet culture. The Unmaking of Soviet Life brings together ten of Humphrey's best essays, which cover, geographically, Central Russia, Siberia, and Mongolia; and thematically, the politics of locality, property, and persons.

Bridging the strongest of Humphrey's work from 1991 to 2001, the essays do a great deal to demystify the sensational topics of mafia, barter, bribery, and the new shamanism by locating them in the lived experiences of a wide range of subjects. The Unmaking of Soviet Life includes a foreword and introductory paragraphs by Bruce Grant and Nancy Ries that precede each essay.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801487736
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 03/28/2002
Series: Culture and Society after Socialism
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Caroline Humphrey is Professor of Asian Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, author of several books, and winner of the J. I. Staley Prize for her landmark book The Karl Marx Collective: Economy and Society in a Siberian Collective Farm.

What People are Saying About This

Katherine Verdery

"Caroline Humphrey is the world's foremost anthropological student of the socialist and postsocialist Soviet Union. The socialist past is critical to understanding Russia today, and Humphrey shows why better than anyone I know."

Sheila Fitzpatrick

"A welcome collection of essays by the noted British anthropologist Caroline Humphrey, The Unmaking of Soviet Life should be compulsory reading for everyone studying post-Communist transition or simply interested to know how life has changed in the former Soviet Union since 1991."

Peter H. Solomon

"The Unmaking of Soviet Life offers a rich, nuanced, and thought-provoking analysis of the extra-legal side of Russian economic life in the 1990s, including barter, bribery, and the privatization of protection and conflict-resolution."

Customer Reviews