This book is about how people live in three small towns in Russia, and about how their lives have changed since the collapse of communist rule in 1991. More exactly, it is about how small-town Russians make their livings (livelihoods), how they perceive themselves (identities) and the interconnections between the two. The book contributes to a number of debates about the nature of post-Soviet Russian society, exploring areas such as the nature of poverty and livelihood or ‘survival’ strategies; links between economic crisis, stress and mortality; (un)changing gender roles and relations; the cohesion or breakdown of communities; the transformation of the Soviet class system; the growth of civil and political society; and the evolution and significance of ethnic and territorial identities.