The acclaimed author of Sovietistan travels along the seemingly endless Russian border and reveals the deep and pervasive influence it has had across half the globe. Imperial, communist or autocratic, Russia has been—and remains—a towering and intimidating neighbor. Whether it is North Korea in the Far East through the former Soviet republics in Asia and the Caucasus, or countries on the Caspian Ocean and the Black Sea. What would it be like to traverse the entirety of the Russian periphery to examine its effects on those closest to her? An astute and brilliant combination of lyric travel writing and modern history, The Border is a book about Russia without its author ever entering Russia itself. Fatland gets to the heart of what it has meant to be the neighbor of that mighty, expanding empire throughout history. As we follow Fatland on her journey, we experience the colorful, exciting, tragic and often unbelievable histories of these bordering nations along with their cultures, their people, their landscapes. Sharply observed and wholly absorbing, The Border is a surprising new way to understand a broad part our world.