This book is amazing and inspiring in showing how much a person can cram into a lifetime. It gives a dedicated (later to be disillusioned) communist family's perspective on Russian history from the early 1900s on. The early parts of the book might have benefited from a little more sensory descriptions. When you hear there isn't enough to eat, it makes it more real to know what there was to eat. But it was a long time ago, and I understand that it was difficult for the author to piece together all the things that happens from such a long time ago. The second part of the book seems to jump around a bit with politics and career first and then stories of narrow escapes at the end. The description of the constitutional convention shows how time was allowed for thoughtfulness in its development. I think it might have been nice for the book to include more of the ideas and issues involved in the author's community planning career because these are probably still relevant now.