Leonid Pereplyotchik

Two Sides of a Planet

Review by The New York Times best-selling author Ellen Tanner Marsh


Here in America, we often take our freedoms and our way of life for granted. We can't really imagine how people lived under a totalitarian regime like the Soviet Union. And do we know what socialism really looks like today — not according to newspaper and media propaganda — but in reality? In Leonid Pereplyotchik's stunning new book, "Two Sides of a Planet," the author uses stories to investigate the social, psychological and political gap between the two very different worlds of the United States and modern-day Russia.

"River of Oblivion" explores the tragic destiny of millions of Soviets who suffered under the Stalinist regime and vanished into the concentration camps. "La Traviata" shows the charms of a provincial Ukrainian town and the unhappy destiny of its inhabitants, many of whom struggled under the Nazis. In "Farewell Slav," the author shows how what may look illogical in Russian life to Americans actually makes perfect sense, as he explores what it means to exchange apartments.

Pereplyotchik offers a fascinating glimpse into a society few Americans truly know or understand. Promoting understanding and acceptance, Two Sides of a Planet seeks nothing less than to bridge the gap between Russia and America, and to show all people that even though we inhabit "different sides of the planet," we share many similarities. Beautifully written and thoughtfully told, this book is sure to be a welcome edition to any library or school.

Churchill Club
Black Square
Chechen Transit
River of Oblivion
Vera Lotar
Farewell Slav
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