Visiting the dacha, or summer cottage, is one activity that stands out among the multitude of possible leisure pursuits, which is perhaps the most recognizable aspect of Russian summer culture. Dachas encapsulate and project the country's social history and heritage in ways that are intimately familiar to people across Russia and across generations. Dacha life, and the natural settings and qualities with which it is linked, are both microcosms of and conduits for fundamental issues in today's Russia: the politics of national identity and nationalism, the transition to capitalism, projects of social transformation, and the legacies of socialism, among others. The dachniki described in this book represent a broad cross-section of Russian society in terms of their social, economic, and demographic diversity. This chapter provides an overview of the chapters included in the book.
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