Black Earth by Andrew Meier
A Journey Through Russia After the Fall

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews



"That Black Earth is an extraordinary work is, for anyone who has known Russia, beyond question."—George Kennan

"A compassionate glimpse into the extremes where the new Russia meets the old," writes Robert Legvold (Foreign Affairs) about Andrew Meier's enthralling new work. Journeying across a resurgent and reputedly free land, Meier has produced a virtuosic mix of nuanced history, lyric travelogue, and unflinching reportage. Throughout, Meier captures the country's present limbo—a land rich in potential but on the brink of staggering back into tyranny—in an account that is by turns heartrending and celebratory, comic and terrifying. A 2003 New York Public Library Book to Remember. "Black Earth is the best investigation of post-Soviet Russia since David Remnick's Resurrection. Andrew Meier is a truly penetrating eyewitness."—Robert Conquest, author of The Great Terror; "If President Bush were to read only the chapters regarding Chechnya in Meier's Black Earth, he would gain a priceless education about Putin's Russia."—Zbigniew Brzezinski "Even after the fall of Communism, most American reporting on Russia often goes no further than who's in and who's out in the Kremlin and the business oligarchy. Andrew Meier's Russia reaches far beyond . . . this Russia is one where, as Meier says, history has a hard time hiding. Readers could not easily find a livelier or more insightful guide."—Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost and The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin "From the pointless war in Chechnya to the wild, exhilarating, and dispiriting East and the rise of Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer—it's all here in great detail, written in the layers the story deserves, with insight, passion, and genuine affection."—Michael Specter, staff writer, The New Yorker; co-chief, The New York Times Moscow Bureau, 1995-98. "[Meier's] knowledge of the country and his abiding love for its people stands out on every page of this book....But it is his linguistic fluency, in particular, which enables Mr. Meier to dig so deeply into Russia's black earth."—The Economist  "A wonderful travelogue that depicts the Russian people yet again trying to build a new life without really changing their old one."—William Taubman, The New York Times Book Review.

About Andrew Meier

See more books from this Author
Andrew Meier, the author of Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the Fall, is a recent Fellow at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers and currently a writer-in-residence at the New School University. He lives in New York City.
Published January 17, 2005 by W. W. Norton & Company. 516 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Black Earth

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

One was Chechnya, where he found Russian soldiers playing backgammon with the rebels whom they would later be killing, yet one of the strange scenes out of what those soldiers have taken to calling “Putin’s War.” Another was the fantastically remote Siberian city of Norilsk, “a severed world,” Me...

| Read Full Review of Black Earth: A Journey Throug...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Black Earth: Russia After the Fall by Andrew Meier 511pp, HarperCollins, £25 Putin's Progress by Peter Truscott 370pp, Simon and Schuster, £17.99 Inside Putin's Russia by Andrew Jack 352pp, Granta, £20 There have been few times like the present in the reporting of Russia.

Mar 13 2004 | Read Full Review of Black Earth: A Journey Throug...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Black Earth by Andrew Meier HarperCollins £25, pp528 On 5 February 2000, 60 people were killed in the Chechnyan village of Aldy.

Feb 08 2004 | Read Full Review of Black Earth: A Journey Throug...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

After talking to scores of people—from survivors of the Aldy massacre to a harrowed Russian lieutenant colonel who runs the body-collection point closest to the Chechen battleground—Meier paints in this heartbreaking book a devastating picture of contemporary life in a country where, as one man p...

| Read Full Review of Black Earth: A Journey Throug...

Project MUSE

In this engrossing travelogue written after the fall of Communism in the former USSR, Meier, a former Moscow correspondent for Time, travels around Russia—from Moscow to Chechnya to Norilsk, far above the Arctic Circle, then from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg—meeting and talking with oligarchs, r...

| Read Full Review of Black Earth: A Journey Throug...

The National Interest

By giving his subjects wide latitude to tell their own stories--Chechens, General Numerov, the Gulag survivor on his way by riverboat to Norilsk, the St. Petersburg "godfather," oil workers on Sakhalin island--Meier creates a literary space where authentic voices can be heard, instead of, as so m...

Jan 14 2004 | Read Full Review of Black Earth: A Journey Throug...

Reader Rating for Black Earth

An aggregated and normalized score based on 20 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review