It is a shame that this book is no longer in print. For my money, Berlitz' Self-Teacher Series was the best series of learn-it-yourself foreign language books ever printed. Far superior to their current series.
Now before I begin to sing its paeans, I have to say that there is one glaring problem with the series as a whole, and the Russian book in particular. It needs an audio supplement. While the Russian words are printed phonetically, it would really help the series if one could hear the words pronounce, preferably slowly at first, and then at the speed native speakers would say it. If course, you need to keep in mind that Russia, like the US, has regional dialects, but it still would go a long way to helping one acquire better speaking ability.
That is the only complaint I have about the book. It progresses nicely in terms of first teaching some words and then later on using those words in increasingly complex sentences. Throughout the book, the cartoon character of the Professor appears to make notes about grammar, culture, and other interesting tidbits.
I had two years of Russian in college (and I will modestly note that I got straight "A"s) and I found this to be both and excellent supplement and a wonderful review for Russian. My wife and now each have a copy, and we are working our way through it so that we will be ready for a long-planned trip to Russia. We have had the opportunity to host Russian students and live in an area with a large Russian-Ukrainian population. The skills we have already mastered from this book indicate that we will be well prepared to visit the countries of the former Soviet Union that have Russian speakers.
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