Anthropology of Eurasia, Postsocialism and Beyond

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The four books reviewed here represent a range of studies and approaches dealing mainly with identity in postsocialist Russia, a growing trend in the anthropological literature on the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.1 Within the current period of expansion, anthropologists specializing in this geographical area have been initiating research on topics relevant to a wider audience, moving slowly away from postsocialist change per se. To varying degrees, these four books digress from postsocialism and link up to mainstream topics. The books range in difficulty from ethnography suitable for undergraduate courses (Kerttula) to texts appropriate for the graduate level (Ssorin-Chaikov). Topically, the books cover the issues of economy (Kertulla and Humphrey), politics (Ssorin-Chaikov and Smith), and identity (Humphrey, Kerttula, Smith, and Ssorin-Chaikov). Geographically, the books deal with the Russian Far East (Kerttula), Central and Southern Siberia (Ssorin-Chaikov and Humphrey), and Central Russia (Smith and Humphrey).