Countries of the Former Soviet Union
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, USSR, Uzbekistan
Compiled by Richard Seltzer B & R Samizdat Express - (October 6, 2003)
P. O. Box 161
West Roxbury, MA, 02132
Genre: Current Events, History
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - December 3, 2003
Before the fall of the Soviet Union, studying geography was a tad easier. The USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik) covered an area about twice the size of the United States. It was filled with a diverse assemblage of people who belonged to a variety of different cultures, spoke a myriad of languages, and who practiced almost every relgion known on Earth. Despite this diversity, the USSR was viewed, and often studied, as a unified whole. This is no longer the case. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of the constituent republics that comprised the USSR have reemerged as independent countries. Therefore when studying the region students must contend with a legion of countries, where as previously they only had to, at least technically, study one.
Students, and anyone interested in the countries of the former Soviet Union, will find Richard Seltzer's new CD, Countries of the Former Soviet Union an invaluable study aid. This CD contains fifteen Country Studies, a copy of the 2003 edition of the CIA World Factbook, plus a wealth of books on Russian history and literature. Combined this information helps to provide the reader with in-depth information about the current political, economic, and culture life of each of the countries of the former soviet union, while at the same time providing sufficient background information to enable you to put this information into context in relationship to the regions history, the ongoing interactions between each country, and current events. As an added bonus, the information contained on this CD serves as a valuable reference tool that can be consulted as needed.
The fifteen Country Studies contained in this collection were compiled under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Army and they published between 1987 and 1996. These studies cover Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Soviet Union, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Each country study is a self-contained book, and each offers details in regard to each countries history, society, environment, economy, government, politics, and how the countries under study affect the national security of the United States. Each country study book is presents as a single text file that can be opened with almost any word processing program or web browser. Each books also includes an appendix that consists of a variety of tables that are in html format. I was able to open these html tables with both the Microsoft Word and WordPerfect word processing programs, as well as opening them with a web browser.
CIA World Factbook
The CIA World Factbook is an incredible resource providing a concise look at the countries of the world, complete with historical facts, reference maps, and links to relevant websites. This book is comprised of a brief country by country analysis of every country in the world. Information in this country by country analysis includes details as to GNP (gross national product), arable land, literacy statistics, climate, religious and gender make up of the country, languages spoken, main exports, and other useful information that helps to give the reader a detailed overview of each country. This book is an illustrated book in html format. To properly see the pages in this book, you will need to open it in a web browser, such as Explore or Netscape. These files may not display properly if opened in a regular word processing program.
In addition to the countries studies and the fact book, this collection also includes a wealth of literary and historical works that will enhance your understanding of the region. Even if you are not interested in this collection as a study or reference aid, it is well worth its purchase price simply for the literary works that are included. A sampling of the historical works included in this collection are:
The Crisis in Russia by Arthur Ransome
The Discovery of Muscovy by Richard Hakluyt
From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leon Trotsky
The Russian Revolution by Alexander Petrunkevitch, Samuel Northrup, and Harper Golden
Additionally, the wealth of literary works found in this collection include titles by such famed authors as:
The above overview provides a mere glimpse to the material contained on this CD.
A web browser such as Explorer or Netscape, or a word processing program such as Word or WordPerfect.
The Middle East - Context for Conflict, Compiled by Richard Seltzer
Country studies of Iraq, Iran, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf States, plus related history, literature, and religious texts that help to put the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East into context.
East Asia, Compiled by Richard Seltzer.
Country studies of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, North & South Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, plus related history, literary, and religious texts that help to put current events into context.