The "Children of Perestroika" Come of Age: Young People of Moscow Talk about Life in the New Russia

By Deborah Adelman | Go to book overview

"CHILDREN OF THESE
HUNGRY TIMES"

In the summer of 1992 I returned to a Moscow that looked very different from the city I had left in 1989. Driving from the airport across the city, I noticed the proliferation of vendors and commercial activity at nearly every square and metro station. The city streets were much busier and dirtier than they had been. The three friends who had met me at the airport all spoke at once, in a rush of emotion, describing new difficulties and going into great detail about the cost of food, clothing, newspapers, and so on. They were not very interested in talking about much else. The enthusiasm for change that had been so evident in the summer of 1989 seemed to have disappeared. Now there was almost a sense of dread for what might come next. "We don't read the newspapers anymore," one of my companions told me during that first ride from the airport, "because we're tired of hearing about all that, and it just gets worse. And besides they're too expensive. We can't afford a daily paper." The talk focused on economic difficulties as my friends remarked with extreme displeasure that they considered the street vending speculative and parasitic, and they blamed the vendors and their dubious activities for the abundant piles of flattened cardboard boxes, broken slats from wooden crates, and stacks of garbage lining so many streets, left there at the end of a day's sales.

As I walked the streets of Moscow in the following days, it seemed that the city had become one large flea market.

-3-

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The "Children of Perestroika" Come of Age: Young People of Moscow Talk about Life in the New Russia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • From Teenagers to Young Adults, 1989-1992 xv
  • Children of These Hungry Times 3
  • Marrying for Love 15
  • Still a Worker 35
  • Some Kind of Justice Will Come 55
  • I Don't like Living My Life According to the Plan 81
  • "Bomzh": No Fixed Address 97
  • I Want to Study 105
  • The Army Was Really an Important School for Me 117
  • Becoming a Farmer 131
  • Going into Business 141
  • I Hope My LIfe Will Have Some Meaning 173
  • Glossary 183
  • Index 187
  • About the Author 194
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