Leningrad (1984)


Scarce English-Language Translation of a
1984 Travel Guide to Leningrad, Published in Moscow

Kann, Pavel. Leningrad. A Guide. Moscow: Raduga, 1984.

Hardcover. 8vo  8" - 9" tall.

First edition of this Moscow-published English-language tourist guide to St. Petersburg, with fascinating color photographic illustrations. Since the 1950s, these Raduga tourist guides were a staple among Soviet travelers. This Moscow-published 1984 English translation offers a glimpse into travel within the Soviet Union at a time when it was not exactly a prime tourist destination for English-speaking Westerners. A touch awkward with regard to the aims of travel, it focuses on photo-illustrated information about museums, theaters, and Soviet-approved historical sites, while also offering frequent mentions of electrical plants, the first nuclear-powered icebreaker, and flood control. The tourist tips at the back include firm instructions about photography (forbidden at any number of places) , driving (horns forbidden, drinking forbidden) , and where to find the local creative trade unions (for those times when you need a composer or architect). The brief included phrasebook contains a number of useful phrases as well as less useful phrases ("militiaman" and a lengthy section on kopecks). Overall, this travel guide offers a highly informative and often amusing glimpse of travel in the USSR right before Glasnost. Interior fine, a few small bumps to extremities, faint lamination crack on front board. A near-fine copy.