Peter, or Piter, as the city’s residents familiarly call Saint Petersburg, Petrograd, or Leningrad―the different names it has had under successive governments―has always been and remains an important city in the development of political and intellectual events in Russia. Saint Petersburg, the former imperial capital, born out of a hatred for Moscow, is recovering its old splendor following years of governmental neglect, thanks to the support of Vladimir Putin, who was born there. Its thriving industrial and commercial activity, as well as its role as Russia’s largest international sea and river port, have made it a key point of articulation with Europe.
This book is an exploration of the city’s social fabric, seen from inside the homes of its residents. It is also an examination of Russia, a nation at once so old and so young, established as it now exists in 1991, on the ruins of the disintegrated Soviet Union. Saint Petersburg overflows with beauty and cultural riches. The monumental downtown, with its Old World air, is the country’s greatest tourist attraction and a place of pilgrimage for the Russian people. At the same time, new housing projects―the result of voracious real estate speculation―have sprung up on the city’s austere periphery.
Signed copy. Text in English/Spanish.