In a useful, clever book, Yergin and Gustafson help both the expert and the general reader think large thoughts about Russia's possible paths into the future. The book's central device is a series of carefully crafted scenarios -- some for the next several years, some farther out preceded by thoughtful, succinct portraits of society, its parts, players and key trends. The scenarios range from more of the same (called muddling through) to, at one end, a slide into chaos and, at the other, the emergence of Russia into a stable, largely constructed, fecund capitalist society (called the miracle). Futurology can be a waste of time when it is the product of over-fertile minds and when imagination serves as a substitute for sound analysis. This book, however, is worthwhile, not only because it is so accessibly written, but because the analysis is of such high quality and the scenarios blend so well. Shrewdly chosen detail and a remarkably insightful sense of the possible.
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