An engaging series of interviews with people who lived through the fall of the USSR. I felt a lot of resonance with the current American climate while reading this around the time of the Inauguration.

Symbols have great importance: blue jeans and salami loom large for both pro- and anti-Soviet interviewees. For a great many people, being part of a great project was more important than material comfort. Nobody seems to deny that the Soviet era was a time of deprivation and repression; many deny that these outweigh the grand vision.