From the TLS
"[A] nation’s consciousness, or some such, is always a slippery subject, a mobile target. We are all too inclined to look at Russia with our own established notions of common sense, of probability, of cultural inevitability. But, as George Orwell wrote, more than half a century ago, "Till recently it was thought proper to pretend that human beings are very much alike, but in fact anyone able to use his eyes knows that the average of human behaviour differs from country to country. Things that could happen in one country could not happen in another". This general point applies even to long-standing geographical and cultural neighbours such as England and France, as anyone knows who has really experienced both – and the deeper the sympathy, the deeper that feeling." - Robert Conquest, Russia on the couch.