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The Invention of Russia : From Gorbachev's Freedom to Putin's War
by Arkady Ostrovsky


Overview - WINNER OF THE 2016 ORWELL PRIZE
FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
Fast-paced and excellently written much needed, dispassionate and eminently readable. New York Times
Filled with sparkling prose and deep analysis.
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More About The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky
 
 
 
Overview
WINNER OF THE 2016 ORWELL PRIZE
FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
Fast-paced and excellently written much needed, dispassionate and eminently readable. New York Times
Filled with sparkling prose and deep analysis. The Wall Street Journal

The breakup of the Soviet Union was a time of optimism around the world, but Russia today is actively involved in subversive information warfare, manipulating the media to destabilize its enemies. How did a country that embraced freedom and market reform 25 years ago end up as an autocratic police state bent once again on confrontation with America? A winner of the Orwell Prize, The Invention of Russia reaches back to the darkest days of the cold war to tell the story of Russia's stealthy and largely unchronicled counter revolution.
A highly regarded Moscow correspondent for the Economist, Arkady Ostrovsky comes to this story both as a participant and a foreign correspondent. His knowledge of many of the key players allows him to explain the phenomenon of Valdimir Putin - his rise and astonishing longevity, his use of hybrid warfare and the alarming crescendo of his military interventions. One of Putin's first acts was to reverse Gorbachev's decision to end media censorship and Ostrovsky argues that the Russian media has done more to shape the fate of the country than its politicians. Putin pioneered a new form of demagogic populism --oblivious to facts and aggressively nationalistic - that has now been embraced by Donald Trump."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399564161
  • ISBN-10: 0399564160
  • Publisher: Viking
  • Publish Date: June 2016
  • Page Count: 384


Related Categories

Books > History > Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Books > Political Science > World - Russian & Former Soviet Union
Books > Political Science > History & Theory - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-04-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this insider’s account of the Soviet Union’s collapse and its reemergence as new Russia, Ostrovsky, a Russian-born journalist, recounts how Russian politics, business, and media have melded into a powerful, dangerous myth-making apparatus unlike anything in the West. The primary figures here are Russia’s elite, the ideologues and editors whom Ostrovsky interviewed mostly between 2004 and 2014. He spends the book’s first half exploring perestroika and the subsequent stumbles into a market economy during the early 1990s. He also ably portrays the media moguls and unscrupulous TV personalities who brought first Boris Yeltsin and then Vladimir Putin to power. Ostrovsky’s reporting is heavy on analysis and reliant on secondhand accounts. He argues that Russia has a centuries-old habit of confusing fact and myth, and he probes the souls of propagandists as they bid farewell to Communism while their irreverent progeny start up capitalist tabloids. Viewed through the Russian lens, the events of recent years look startlingly different. While the media flexed muscle under Yeltsin, Putin won the long game. During coverage of the annexation of Crimea, for instance, the media invented a pro-Russian narrative “using fake footage, doctoring quotes, and using actors.” Ostrovsky’s dizzying tale takes its own myth-like form, and Western readers will quickly learn to take everything in this book with a grain of salt. Agent: George Lucas, InkWell Management. (June)

 
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