The Unmaking of Soviet Life

The Unmaking of Soviet Life

Everyday Economies after Socialism
Caroline Humphrey
  • Winner of the 2002 Heldt Prize (Association for Women in Slavic Studies)
In order to understand today's Russia and former Soviet republics, it is vital to consider their socialist past. Caroline Humphrey, one of anthropology's most highly regarded thinkers on a number of topics including consumption, identity, and ritual, is the ideal guide to the intricacies of post-Soviet culture. The Unmaking of Soviet Life brings together ten of Humphrey's best essays, which cover, geographically, Central Russia, Siberia, and Mongolia; and thematically, the politics of locality, property, and persons.

Bridging the strongest of Humphrey's work from 1991 to 2001, the essays do a great deal to demystify the sensational topics of mafia, barter, bribery, and the new shamanism by locating them in the lived experiences of a wide range of subjects. The Unmaking of Soviet Life includes a foreword and introductory paragraphs by Bruce Grant and Nancy Ries that precede each essay.