Isham has brought together an interesting group and turned their essays into answers to three questions: "Who are we (Russians)?" "Where are we going?" And, "How do we get there?" They answer not as pedestrian analysts doing the job for an institute report or a scholarly anthology but as Russians speaking from the Russian soul: The great Russian academician and medievalist, Dmitri Ligachev, writing on the tragedy of Russian history; novelist Fazil Iskander, considering who the Russians are after having been Soviets; Arkadii Vaksberg, the distinguished lawyer and legal journalist, setting out the link between crime and politics; poet Andrei Voznesenkii on "Easter Eggs, Black Holes, and Heroes"; and many more. They did their writing in the weeks immediately after Yeltsin's violent confrontation with parliament in fall 1993, and therefore some of their immediate preoccupations are already dated, but not the general spirit, emotions, and most of all the insight they bring.