December 4, 2020

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The Invention of Russia

The Invention of Russia
Author : Arkady Ostrovsky
Publisher : Penguin
Release Date : 2016-06-07
Category : History
Total pages :400
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WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE WINNER OF THE CORNELIUS RYAN AWARD FINALIST FOR THE LIONEL GELBER 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.

The Invention of Russia

The Invention of Russia
Author : Arkady Ostrovsky
Publisher : Atlantic Books Ltd
Release Date : 2015-09-17
Category : History
Total pages :400
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WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE 2016 REVISED AND UPDATED EDITION How did a country that embraced freedom over twenty-five years ago end up as an autocratic police state bent once again on confrontation with the West? In this Orwell Prize-winning book, Arkady Ostrovsky reaches back to the darkest days of the Cold War to tell the story of Russia's stealthy and largely unchronicled post-Soviet transformation. Ostrovsky's knowledge of many of the key players allows him to explain the rise of Vladimir Putin and to reveal how he pioneered a new form of demagogic populism. In a new preface he examines Putin's influence on the US election and explores how his methods - weaponizing the media and serving up fake news - came to enter Western politics.

The Invention of Russia

The Invention of Russia
Author : Arkady Ostrovsky
Publisher : Penguin
Release Date : 2017
Category : History
Total pages :400
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Originally published in Great Britain in 2015 by Atlantic Books.

Children of Rus'

Children of Rus'
Author : Faith Hillis
Publisher : Cornell University Press
Release Date : 2013-11-27
Category : History
Total pages :348
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In Children of Rus’, Faith Hillis recovers an all but forgotten chapter in the history of the tsarist empire and its southwestern borderlands. The right bank, or west side, of the Dnieper River—which today is located at the heart of the independent state of Ukraine—was one of the Russian empire’s last territorial acquisitions, annexed only in the late eighteenth century. Yet over the course of the long nineteenth century, this newly acquired region nearly a thousand miles from Moscow and St. Petersburg generated a powerful Russian nationalist movement. Claiming to restore the ancient customs of the East Slavs, the southwest’s Russian nationalists sought to empower the ordinary Orthodox residents of the borderlands and to diminish the influence of their non-Orthodox minorities. Right-bank Ukraine would seem unlikely terrain to nourish a Russian nationalist imagination. It was among the empire’s most diverse corners, with few of its residents speaking Russian as their native language or identifying with the culture of the Great Russian interior. Nevertheless, as Hillis shows, by the late nineteenth century, Russian nationalists had established a strong foothold in the southwest’s culture and educated society; in the first decade of the twentieth, they secured a leading role in local mass politics. By 1910, with help from sympathetic officials in St. Petersburg, right-bank activists expanded their sights beyond the borderlands, hoping to spread their nationalizing agenda across the empire. Exploring why and how the empire’s southwestern borderlands produced its most organized and politically successful Russian nationalist movement, Hillis puts forth a bold new interpretation of state-society relations under tsarism as she reconstructs the role that a peripheral region played in attempting to define the essential characteristics of the Russian people and their state.

The New Tsar

The New Tsar
Author : Steven Lee Myers
Publisher : Vintage
Release Date : 2016-08-23
Category : Biography & Autobiography
Total pages :592
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In this gripping narrative of Putin's rise to power, Steven Lee Myers recounts Putin's origins--from his childhood of abject poverty in Leningrad to his ascent through the ranks of the KGB, and his eventual consolidation of rule in the Kremlin. As the world struggles to confront a bolder Russia, the importance of understanding the formidable and ambitious Vladimir Putin has never been greater. On the one hand, Putin's many domestic reforms--from tax cuts to an expansion of property rights--have helped reshape the potential of millions of Russians whose only experience of democracy had been crime, poverty, and instability after the fall of the Soviet Union. On the other, Putin has ushered in a new authoritarianism--unyielding in its brutal repression of dissent and newly assertive politically and militarily in regions like Crimea and the Middle East. The New Tsar is a staggering achievement, a deeply researched and essential biography of one of the most important and destabilizing world leaders in recent history, a man whose merciless rule has become inextricably bound to Russia's forseeable future.

The Invention of Exile

The Invention of Exile
Author : Vanessa Manko
Publisher : Penguin
Release Date : 2014-08-14
Category : Fiction
Total pages :304
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Austin Voronkov is many things. He is an engineer, an inventor, an immigrant from Russia to Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1913, where he gets a job at a rifle factory. At the house where he rents a room, he falls in love with a woman named Julia, who becomes his wife and the mother of his three children. When Austin is wrongly accused of attending anarchist gatherings his limited grasp of English condemns him to his fate as a deportee, retreating with his new bride to his home in Russia, where he and his young family become embroiled in the Civil War and must flee once again, to Mexico. While Julia and the children are eventually able to return to the U.S., Austin becomes indefinitely stranded in Mexico City because of the black mark on his record. He keeps a daily correspondence with Julia, as they each exchange their hopes and fears for the future, and as they struggle to remain a family across a distance of two countries. Austin becomes convinced that his engineering designs will be awarded patents, thereby paving the way for the government to approve his return and award his long sought-after American citizenship. At the same time he becomes convinced that an FBI agent is monitoring his every move, with the intent of blocking any possible return to the United States. Austin and Julia's struggles build to crisis and heartrending resolution in this dazzling, sweeping debut. The novel is based in part on Vanessa Manko's family history and the life of a grandfather she never knew. Manko used this history as a jumping off point for the novel, which focuses on borders between the past and present, sanity and madness, while the very real U.S.-Mexico border looms. The novel also explores how loss reshapes and transforms lives. It is a deeply moving testament to the enduring power of family and the meaning of home.

The Invention of Mikhail Lomonosov

The Invention of Mikhail Lomonosov
Author : Steven Usitalo
Publisher : Unknown
Release Date : 2013
Category : Biography & Autobiography
Total pages :298
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This study explores the evolution of Lomonosov's imposing stature in Russian thought from the middle of the eighteenth century to the closing years of the Soviet period. It reveals much about the intersection in Russian culture of attitudes towards the meaning and significance of science, as well as about the rise of a Russian national identity, of which Lomonosov became an outstanding symbol. Idealized depictions of Lomonosov were employed by Russian scientists, historians, and poets, among others, in efforts to affirm to their countrymen and to the state the pragmatic advantages of science to a modernizing nation. In setting forth this assumption, Usitalo notes that no sharply drawn division can be upheld between the utilization of the myth of Lomonosov during the Soviet period of Russian history and that which characterized earlier views. The main elements that formed the mythology were laid down in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; Soviet scholars simply added more exaggerated layers to existing representations.

The New Russia

The New Russia
Author : Mikhail Gorbachev
Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
Release Date : 2016-06-08
Category : Political Science
Total pages :400
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After years of rapprochement, the relationship between Russia and the West is more strained now than it has been in the past 25 years. Putin’s motives, his reasons for seeking confrontation with the West, remain for many a mystery. Not for Mikhail Gorbachev. In this new work, Russia’s elder statesman draws on his wealth of knowledge and experience to reveal the development of Putin’s regime and the intentions behind it. He argues that Putin has significantly diminished the achievements of perestroika and is part of an over-centralized system that presents a precarious future for Russia. Faced with this, Gorbachev advocates a radical reform of politics and a new fostering of pluralism and social democracy. Gorbachev’s insightful analysis moves beyond internal politics to address wider problems in the region, including the Ukraine conflict, as well as the global challenges of poverty and climate change. Above all else, he insists that solutions are to be found by returning to the atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation which was so instrumental in ending the Cold War. This book represents the summation of Gorbachev’s thinking on the course that Russia has taken since 1991 and stands as a testament to one of the greatest and most influential statesmen of the twentieth century.

The Red Web

The Red Web
Author : Andrei Soldatov,Irina Borogan
Publisher : PublicAffairs
Release Date : 2015-09-08
Category : Political Science
Total pages :384
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With important new revelations into the Russian hacking of the 2016 Presidential campaigns "[Andrei Soldatov is] the single most prominent critic of Russia's surveillance apparatus." -Edward Snowden After the Moscow protests in 2011-2012, Vladimir Putin became terrified of the internet as a dangerous means for political mobilization and uncensored public debate. Only four years later, the Kremlin used that same platform to disrupt the 2016 presidential election in the United States. How did this transformation happen? The Red Web is a groundbreaking history of the Kremlin's massive online-surveillance state that exposes just how easily the internet can become the means for repression, control, and geopolitical warfare. In this bold, updated edition, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan offer a perspective from Moscow with new and previously unreported details of the 2016 hacking operation, telling the story of how Russia came to embrace the disruptive potential of the web and interfere with democracy around the world.

The Unlikely Futurist

The Unlikely Futurist
Author : James Rann
Publisher : Publications of the Wisconsin
Release Date : 2020
Category : History
Total pages :280
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In the early twentieth century, a group of writers banded together in Moscow to create purely original modes of expression. These avant-garde artists, known as the Futurists, distinguished themselves by mastering the art of the scandal and making shocking denunciations of beloved icons. With publications such as "A Slap in the Face of Public Taste," they suggested that Aleksandr Pushkin, the founder of Russian literature, be tossed off the side of their "steamship of modernity." Through systematic and detailed readings of Futurist texts, James Rann offers the first book-length study of the tensions between the outspoken literary group and the great national poet. He observes how those in the movement engaged with and invented a new Pushkin, who by turns became a founding father to rebel against, a source of inspiration to draw from, a prophet foreseeing the future, and a monument to revive. Rann's analysis contributes to the understanding of both the Futurists and Pushkin's complex legacy. The Unlikely Futurist will appeal broadly to scholars of Slavic studies, especially those interested in literature and modernism.

Russia's Cosmonauts

Russia's Cosmonauts
Author : Rex D. Hall,Shayler David,Bert Vis
Publisher : Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date : 2007-10-05
Category : Science
Total pages :386
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There is no competition since this is the first book in the English language on cosmonaut selection and training Offers a unique and original discussion on how Russia prepares its cosmonauts for spaceflight. Contains original interviews and photographs with first-hand information obtained by the authors on visits to Star City Provides an insight to the role of cosmonauts in the global space programme of the future. Reviews the training both of Russian cosmonauts in other countries and of foreign cosmonauts in Star City

The Future Is History

The Future Is History
Author : Masha Gessen
Publisher : Penguin
Release Date : 2017-10-03
Category : History
Total pages :528
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WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS WINNER OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY'S HELEN BERNSTEIN BOOK AWARD NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, SEATTLE TIMES, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NEWSWEEK, PASTE, and POP SUGAR The essential journalist and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy. Award-winning journalist Masha Gessen's understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled. In The Future Is History, Gessen follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own--as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings. Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today's terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.

Material Culture in Russia and the USSR

Material Culture in Russia and the USSR
Author : Graham H. Roberts
Publisher : Routledge
Release Date : 2020-05-28
Category : Social Science
Total pages :280
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Material Culture in Russia and the USSR comprises some of the most cutting-edge scholarship across anthropology, history and material and cultural studies relating to Russia and the Soviet Union, from Peter the Great to Putin.Material culture in Russia and the USSR holds a particularly important role, as the distinction between private and public spheres has at times developed in radically different ways than in many places in the more commonly studied West. With case studies covering alcohol, fashion, cinema, advertising and photography among other topics, this wide-ranging collection offers an unparalleled survey of material culture in Russia and the USSR and addresses core questions such as: what makes Russian and Soviet material culture distinctive; who produces it; what values it portrays; and how it relates to 'high culture' and consumer culture.

Russia's Unfinished Revolution

Russia's Unfinished Revolution
Author : Michael McFaul
Publisher : Cornell University Press
Release Date : 2015-05-15
Category : Political Science
Total pages :400
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For centuries, dictators ruled Russia. Tsars and Communist Party chiefs were in charge for so long some analysts claimed Russians had a cultural predisposition for authoritarian leaders. Yet, as a result of reforms initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev, new political institutions have emerged that now require election of political leaders and rule by constitutional procedures. Michael McFaul traces Russia's tumultuous political history from Gorbachev's rise to power in 1985 through the 1999 resignation of Boris Yeltsin in favor of Vladimir Putin. McFaul divides his account of the post-Soviet country into three periods: the Gorbachev era (1985-1991), the First Russian Republic (1991-1993), and the Second Russian Republic (1993-present). The first two were, he believes, failures—failed institutional emergence or failed transitions to democracy. By contrast, new democratic institutions did emerge in the third era, though not the institutions of a liberal democracy. McFaul contends that any explanation for Russia's successes in shifting to democracy must also account for its failures. The Russian/Soviet case, he says, reveals the importance of forging social pacts; the efforts of Russian elites to form alliances failed, leading to two violent confrontations and a protracted transition from communism to democracy. McFaul spent a great deal of time in Moscow in the 1990s and witnessed firsthand many of the events he describes. This experience, combined with frequent visits since and unparalleled access to senior Russian policymakers and politicians, has resulted in an astonishingly well-informed account. Russia's Unfinished Revolution is a comprehensive history of Russia during this crucial period.

Assignment Moscow

Assignment Moscow
Author : James Rodgers
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date : 2020-06-25
Category : Political Science
Total pages :256
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The story of western correspondents in Russia is the story of Russia's attitude to the west. Russia has at different times been alternately open to western ideas and contacts, cautious and distant or, for much of the twentieth century, all but closed off. From the revolutionary period of the First World War onwards, correspondents in Russia have striven to tell the story of a country known to few outsiders. Their stories have not always been well received by political elites, audiences, and even editors in their own countries-but their accounts have been a huge influence on how the West understands Russia. Not always perfect, at times downright misleading, they have, overall, been immensely valuable. In Assignment Moscow, former foreign correspondent James Rodgers analyses the news coverage of Russia throughout history, from the coverage of the siege of the Winter Palace and a plot to kill Stalin, to the Chernobyl explosion and the Salisbury poison scandal.