US Librarian of Congress James Billington published a book "Russia in Search of Itself" on Russian history and its modern comprehension.
The well-known historian and author of several books on Russia, Mr. Billington told RIA Novosti that his purpose was to answer the question "what is Russia's culture, history and mission".
The conflict in the Russian self-consciousness is that its people want both strong leadership and observation of human rights and main civil freedoms, Mr. Bellington said.
The question is which way Russia will follow: a new version of authoritarianism or prevailing of democratic traditions, he noted.
In his words, Russian youth sees hard times but gradually they are coping with difficulties. The more information this generation gets on the surrounding world and its past, which was recently neglected, the more possibilities there are for the domination of democracy in Russia, James Billington noted.
On the day of his book's presentation Mr. Billington was awarded with the medal in honor of St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary by Russian ambassador to the US Yuri Ushakov. The medal was also handed to other American social figures.