May 01, 1998

What Real Men Eat

“Real men don’t eat quiche” was a popular cliché in the US during the testosterone-charged 1980s. And while it may seem passé here in the late 1990s (when some men are seeking to get in touch with their “feminine side” and talking about syncopating Mars and  Venus) it certainly would have resonance in today’s Russia, where being a “real muzhik” is everything (see this month’s Survival Russian column, page 31).

Quiche or no quiche, we decided to explore the “men’s issue” this month because it has become  our tradition to focus on women in our March issue and men in May. Anna Hoare’s fine story on today’s Russian male begins on page 8. Unfortunately, this is Anna’s last article with us as Associate Editor, as she is moving back to the US. Her talents and dedication will be sorely missed.

Our search for what it means to be a real Russian muzhik stretches a thread through the other articles in this issue: our historical look at Grigory Potemkin, our review of the Oscar nominated film Vor (The Thief) and, to some extent, Oksana Voronova’s story on the gutsy enterpreneurs of Zlatoust.

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