Gr 7 Up-The story of communism's demise and the rise of a democratic Russia is told with clarity and verve. Oftinoski succeeds in making recent history and the clash of rival ideologies understandable. Yeltsin emerges as a very human hero, a maverick politician who often stirs the ire of parliament and the electorate. Although the author stresses the uncertainty of the man's political future, he points out that the Russian leader still manifests a fighting spirit and talent for survival. Sixteen pages of black-and-white photos and a detailed index are included. This volume is more up-to-date than Kate Schecter's Boris Yeltsin (Chelsea, 1993); however, both titles offer the same basic information.-Pat Katka, San Diego Public Library
The relationship between Yeltsin's political career and the rise of the Russian Republic is a fascinating one, and Otfinoski captures the parallels with an easy writing style that belies the complexity of both the man and his country. Relying heavily on Yeltsin's autobiography, Otfinoski traces the Russian leader's dogged determinism, his identification with the common people, and his improbable rise to power in spite of Gorbachev's machinations to quiet him. Otfinoski obviously admires Yeltsin. He carefully justifies many of the Russian president's more controversial decisions since his rise to power as the price for introducing--and protecting--democracy within a formerly Communist country. Since this biography concludes in January 1994, we can only hope that Otfinoski will revisit his reasoned analysis of Yeltsin several years hence to help young people understand the full impact of this important leader upon world history. Chronology; chapter notes; bibliography.