Russian Blood. In the early 1980s, Alex Shoumatoff, the author, became curious about his roots. Both his grandmothers were into their 90s, and with a sense of urgency, he collected their stories and reminiscences about life as White Russian aristocrats, whose way of life was extinguished by the Russian Revolution. This family memoir is exceptionally well-written and brings together remarkable events and fascinating historical characters. Highly recommended! NY: Vintage Books, 1990. 312 pages. First paperback edition.