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    ‘Siberia’ by Leah Bendavid-Val

    1980s. It appears in "Siberia: In the Eyes of Russian Photographers" by Leah Bendavid-Val. (Alexander Kustov)

    “Siberia: In the Eyes of Russian Photographers” (Prestel) probes the bleakness and determination of a region that was long a dumping ground for Russia’s political and social undesirables. Author Leah Bendavid-Val worked for National Geographic Books for years, and this is her fourth book on Russian photography. The images she selected by 50 photographers span about 130 years. There are coal miners, reindeer herders, walrus hunters, and outdoor chess games to celebrate the end of winter. Her essays are a bonus. They combine her own reporting in Siberia with strands of the nation’s traumatic history to produce a nuanced portrait.

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    JAN GARDNER