2nd Edition

A Geography of Russia and Its Neighbors

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ISBN 9781462544592
Published March 17, 2021 by Guilford Press
518 Pages

USD $65.00

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Book Description

Authoritative yet accessible, the definitive undergraduate text on Russian geography and culture has now been thoroughly revised with the latest data and hot topics, such as the political crisis in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Thematic chapters provide up-to-date coverage of Russia's physical, political, cultural, and economic geography. Regional chapters focus on the country's major regions and the other 14 former Soviet republics. Written in a lucid, conversational style by a Russian-born international expert, the concise chapters interweave vivid descriptions of urban and rural landscapes, examinations of Soviet and post-Soviet life, deep knowledge of environmental and conservation issues, geopolitical insights, engaging anecdotes, and rigorous empirical data. Over 200 original maps, photographs, and other figures are also available as PowerPoint slides at the companion website, many in color.

New to This Edition
*Separate chapter on Ukraine and Crimea.
*Timely topics--the political crisis in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol; the return of Putin as president; climate change and environmental degradation; economic slowdown; political shifts in the republics; the role of Russian-backed forces in Syria, Libya, and Central African Republic; changes in Russia–United States relations; and more.
*Thoroughly updated population, economic, and political data.
*80 new or updated figures, tables, and maps.

Pedagogical Features
*End-of-chapter review questions, suggested assignments, and in-class exercises.
*Within-chapter vignettes about Russian places, culture, and history.
*End-of-chapter Internet resources and suggestions for further reading.
*Companion website with all figures and maps from the book, many in full color.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Russia and Post-Soviet Northern Eurasia I. Physical Geography 2. Relief and Hydrography 3. Climate 4. Biomes 5. Environmental Degradation and Conservation II. History and Politics 6. Formation of the Russian State 7. The Soviet Legacy 8. Post-Soviet Reforms 9. The Geopolitical Position of Russia in the World III. Cultural and Social Geography 10. Demographics and Population Distribution 11. Cities and Villages 12. Social Issues: Health, Wealth, Poverty, and Crime 13. Cultures and Languages 14. Religion, Diet, and Dress 15. Education, Arts, Sciences, and Sports 16. Tourism IV. Economics 17. Oil, Gas, and Other Energy Resources 18. Heavy Industry and the Military Complex 19. Light Industry and Consumer Goods 20. Fruits of the Earth: Agriculture, Hunting, Fishing, and Forestry 21. Infrastructure and Services V. Regional Geography of Russia and Other FSU States 22. Central Russia: The Heart of the Country 23. Russia's Northwest: Fishing, Timber, and Culture 24. The Volga: Cars, Food, and Energy 25. The Caucasus: Cultural Diversity and Political Instability 26. The Urals: Metallurgy, Machinery, and Fossil Fuels 27. Siberia: Great Land 28. The Far East: The Russian Pacific 29. The Baltics: Europeysky, Not Sovetsky 30. Belarus and Moldova: Eastern Europeans 31. Ukraine and Crimea: Together or Not? 32. Kazakhstan and Central Asia: The Heart of Eurasia 33. Epilogue: Engaging with Post-Soviet Northern Eurasia

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Mikhail S. Blinnikov, PhD, is Professor of Geography and Graduate Coordinator at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and Associate Researcher at Kazan Federal University Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Archaeological and Ethnological Studies in Kazan, Russia. A native of Moscow, Russia, he has traveled extensively in the former Soviet Union, including doing field work on the White, Baltic, and Black Seas; in Central Russia; on the Volga; and in Crimea, the Caucasus, and the Altay. Besides his work in Russia, he has visited Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan on extended field trips. Dr. Blinnikov’s research focuses on the late-Pleistocene biogeography of grasslands; phytolith analysis; remote sensing and geographic information systems; protected natural areas and green spaces in and near cities; young naturalist movements; and Orthodox religious landscapes. He has worked with the Biodiversity Conservation Center, the Center for Russian Nature Conservation, Nearby Nature, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund Russia, among others. Dr. Blinnikov has also worked as an interpreter and translator for Russian–American exchanges and has written two books in Russian. He is a past president of the International Phytolith Society and president of the Eurasian Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.


“A clear and candid source of information on a critical part of the globe today. I tell my students that in addition to the straightforward information provided by the text, they get the advantage of absorbing a Russian perspective on this region. Students like the price of the book and enjoy the numerous, bite-sized chapters.”--Randy Bertolas, PhD, Department of History, Politics, and Geography, Wayne State College Both students and teachers will learn from this 'must-read' second edition of one of the best available geography texts on the former Soviet realm. The text provides a winning combination of geographical knowledge; historical dimensions; economic, political, and cultural topics; and regional themes. My students have praised this book as interesting, easy to read, brilliantly organized, concise, unbiased, and illustrated with great charts and images.--Dmitrii Sidorov, PhD, Department of Geography, California State University Long Beach Blinnikov’s second edition is an indispensable resource for understanding Russia’s past, present, and future--there’s no other text like it. The entire book is a compelling read, yet individual sections stand alone as important references. Blinnikov offers fascinating detail about aspects of Russia that might be invisible to non-Russians, while also providing a comprehensive, scholarly overview that students and instructors will find most useful.--Jessica K. Graybill, PhD, Department of Geography and Director, Russian and Eurasian Studies Program, Colgate University-