The Invention of Russia

The Rise of Putin and the Age of Fake News
Author: Arkady Ostrovsky
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0399564179
Category: History
Page: 400
View: 423

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Originally published in Great Britain in 2015 by Atlantic Books.

Gorbachev's Gamble

Soviet Foreign Policy and the End of the Cold War
Author: Andrei Grachev
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745655327
Category: Political Science
Page: 288
View: 5055

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The sudden ending of the Cold War, surely the dominant feature of the second half of the 20th century, continues to be one of the most unexpected and perplexing events of our time. Explanations provided by the winners and losers in the Cold War differ considerably and often contradict each other. Even taken together they do not provide a compelling answer to the key question: why did it happen? Gorbachev’s Gamble offers a new and more convincing answer to this question by providing the missing link between the internal and external aspects of Gorbachev’s perestroika. Andrei Grachev shows that the radically transformed Soviet foreign policy during the Gorbachev years was an integral part of an ambitious project of internal democratic reform and of the historic opening of Soviet society to the outside world. Grachev explains the motives and the intentions of the initiators of this project and describes their hopes and their illusions. He recounts the story of the internal debates and struggles in the Kremlin and behind-the-scene decisions that led to the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the break-up of the Warsaw Pact and eventually the demise of the Soviet Union itself. The book is based on exclusive interviews with the leaders of the Soviet Union including Gorbachev, personal notes and diaries of their assistants and advisers and transcripts of the discussions inside the Politburo and Secretariat of the Central Committee. Together they constitute a multi-voice political confession of a whole generation of decision-makers and opinion leaders of the Soviet Union that enables us better to understand the origin and the breathtaking trajectory of the events that led to the end of the Cold War and the unprecedented transformation of world politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible

The Surreal Heart of the New Russia
Author: Peter Pomerantsev
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1610394569
Category: History
Page: 256
View: 5349

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In the new Russia, even dictatorship is a reality show. Professional killers with the souls of artists, would-be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, suicidal supermodels, Hell's Angels who hallucinate themselves as holy warriors, and oligarch revolutionaries: welcome to the glittering, surreal heart of twenty-first-century Russia. It is a world erupting with new money and new power, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality, home to a form of dictatorship—far subtler than twentieth-century strains—that is rapidly rising to challenge the West. When British producer Peter Pomerantsev plunges into the booming Russian TV industry, he gains access to every nook and corrupt cranny of the country. He is brought to smoky rooms for meetings with propaganda gurus running the nerve-center of the Russian media machine, and visits Siberian mafia-towns and the salons of the international super-rich in London and the US. As the Putin regime becomes more aggressive, Pomerantsev finds himself drawn further into the system. Dazzling yet piercingly insightful, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible is an unforgettable voyage into a country spinning from decadence into madness.

The Agony of the Russian Idea


Author: Tim McDaniel
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400822157
Category: History
Page: 212
View: 7473

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Boris Yeltsin's attempts at democratic reform have plunged a long troubled Russia even further into turmoil. This dramatic break with the Soviet past has left Russia politically fragmented and riddled with corruption, its people with little hope for the future. In a fascinating account for anyone interested in Russia's current political struggles, Tim McDaniel explores the inability of all its leaders over the last two centuries--tsars and Communist rulers alike--to create the foundations of a viable modern society. The problem then and now, he argues, is rooted in a cultural trap endemic to Russian society and linked to a unique sense of destiny embodied by the "Russian idea." In its most basic sense, the Russian idea is the belief that Russia can forge a path in the modern world that sets itself apart from the West through adherence to shared beliefs, community, and equality. These cultural values, according to McDaniel, have mainly reversed the values of Western society rather than having provided a real alternative to them. By relying on the Russian idea in their programs of change, dictatorial governments almost unavoidably precipitated social breakdown. When the Yeltsin government declared war on the Communist past, it broke with deeply held Russian values and traditions. McDaniel shows that in cutting people off from their pasts and promoting the West as the sole model of modernity, the reformers have simultaneously undermined the foundations of Russian morality and the people's sense of a future. Unwittingly, the Yeltsin government has thereby annihilated its own authority. McDaniel lived in Russia for three years during both the Communist and post-Communist periods. Basing his analysis on broad historical research, extensive travels, countless interviews and conversations, and friendships with Russians from all walks of life, McDaniel emphasizes the perils of assuming that Russians understand the world in the same way that we do, and so can and should become like us. Challenging and provocative in its claims, this book is intended for anyone seeking to understand Russia's attempts to create a new society.

The New Russia


Author: Mikhail Gorbachev
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1509503919
Category: Political Science
Page: 400
View: 6787

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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.

Russia and the Idea of the West

Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold War
Author: Robert D. English
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231110594
Category: History
Page: 401
View: 5296

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Surveying the expanding conflict in Europe during one of his famous fireside chats in 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt ominously warned that "we know of other methods, new methods of attack. The Trojan horse. The fifth column that betrays a nation unprepared for treachery. Spies, saboteurs, and traitors are the actors in this new strategy." Having identified a new type of war--a shadow war--being perpetrated by Hitler's Germany, FDR decided to fight fire with fire, authorizing the formation of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to organize and oversee covert operations. Based on an extensive analysis of OSS records, including the vast trove of records released by the CIA in the 1980s and '90s, as well as a new set of interviews with OSS veterans conducted by the author and a team of American scholars from 1995 to 1997, The Shadow War Against Hitler is the full story of America's far-flung secret intelligence apparatus during World War II. In addition to its responsibilities generating, processing, and interpreting intelligence information, the OSS orchestrated all manner of dark operations, including extending feelers to anti-Hitler elements, infiltrating spies and sabotage agents behind enemy lines, and implementing propaganda programs. Planned and directed from Washington, the anti-Hitler campaign was largely conducted in Europe, especially through the OSS's foreign outposts in Bern and London. A fascinating cast of characters made the OSS run: William J. Donovan, one of the most decorated individuals in the American military who became the driving force behind the OSS's genesis; Allen Dulles, the future CIA chief who ran the Bern office, which he called "the big window onto the fascist world"; a veritable pantheon of Ivy League academics who were recruited to work for the intelligence services; and, not least, Roosevelt himself. A major contribution of the book is the story of how FDR employed Hitler's former propaganda chief, Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstengl, as a private spy. More than a record of dramatic incidents and daring personalities, this book adds significantly to our understanding of how the United States fought World War II. It demonstrates that the extent, and limitations, of secret intelligence information shaped not only the conduct of the war but also the face of the world that emerged from the shadows.

Putin Country

A Journey Into the Real Russia
Author: Anne Garrels
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374247722
Category: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Page: 240
View: 4674

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"Portrait of the mid-size city of Chelyabinsk and how it is faring in the new Russia"--

Who Lost Russia?


Author: Peter Conradi
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1786070421
Category: History
Page: 400
View: 3023

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When the Soviet Union collapsed on 26 December 1991, it looked like the start of a remarkable new era of peace and co-operation. Some even dared to declare the end of history, assuming all countries would converge on enlightenment values and liberal democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Russia emerged from the 1990s battered and humiliated; the parallels with Weimar Germany are striking. Goaded on by a triumphalist West, a new Russia has emerged, with a large arsenal of upgraded weapons, conventional and nuclear, determined to reassert its national interests in the ‘near abroad’ – Chechnya, Georgia and Ukraine – as well as fighting a proxy war in the Middle East. Meanwhile, NATO is executing large-scale manoeuvres and stockpiling weaponry close to Russia’s border. In this provocative new work, Peter Conradi argues that we have consistently failed to understand Russia and its motives, and in doing so, have made a powerful enemy.

Russia's Dead End

An Insider's Testimony from Gorbachev to Putin
Author: Andrei A. Kovalev
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 1612348939
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 392
View: 7286

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"An internal account of the political activities taking place inside the Kremlin from the fall of the USSR under the administration of Gorbachev to the future of Russia under Putin"--Provided by publisher.

Russia's Unfinished Revolution

Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin
Author: Michael McFaul
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801456967
Category: History
Page: 400
View: 9774

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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—described by the New York Times as "one of the leading Russia experts in the United States"—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.

Gorbachev: His Life and Times


Author: William Taubman
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393245683
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 928
View: 4965

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The definitive biography of the transformational world leader by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Khrushchev. When Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, the USSR was one of the world’s two superpowers. By 1989, his liberal policies of perestroika and glasnost had permanently transformed Soviet Communism, and had made enemies of radicals on the right and left. By 1990 he, more than anyone else, had ended the Cold War, and in 1991, after barely escaping from a coup attempt, he unintentionally presided over the collapse of the Soviet Union he had tried to save. In the first comprehensive biography of the final Soviet leader, William Taubman shows how a peasant boy became the Soviet system’s gravedigger, how he clambered to the top of a system designed to keep people like him down, how he found common ground with America’s arch-conservative president Ronald Reagan, and how he permitted the USSR and its East European empire to break apart without using force to preserve them. Throughout, Taubman portrays the many sides of Gorbachev’s unique character that, by Gorbachev’s own admission, make him “difficult to understand.” Was he in fact a truly great leader, or was he brought low in the end by his own shortcomings, as well as by the unyielding forces he faced? Drawing on interviews with Gorbachev himself, transcripts and documents from the Russian archives, and interviews with Kremlin aides and adversaries, as well as foreign leaders, Taubman’s intensely personal portrait extends to Gorbachev’s remarkable marriage to a woman he deeply loved, and to the family that they raised together. Nuanced and poignant, yet unsparing and honest, this sweeping account has all the amplitude of a great Russian novel.

Not Like Us

How Europeans Have Loved, Hated, And Transformed American Culture Since World War II
Author: Richard Pells
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780786723966
Category: Social Science
Page: 352
View: 5595

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Debunking the myth of the "Americanization" of Europe, a noted historian presents an authoritative and engrossing cultural history of how America tried to remake Europe in its own image, and how the Europeans successfully retained their identity in the face of American mass culture. Pells provides a new paradigm for understanding the survival of local and national cultures in a global setting.

All the Kremlin's Men

Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin
Author: Mikhail Zygar
Publisher: Public Affairs
ISBN: 1610397398
Category: Political Science
Page: 384
View: 8697

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The Return

Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev
Author: Daniel Treisman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416560726
Category: History
Page: 544
View: 6101

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The author of Without a Map assesses modern-day Russia to consider such topics as whether the collapse of the Soviet Union was preventable, Yeltsin's impact on political order and Putin's public popularity.

A Little War That Shook the World

Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West
Author: Ronald Asmus
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780230102286
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 7523

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The brief war between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 seemed to many like an unexpected shot out of the blue that was gone as quickly as it came. Former Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Ronald Asmus contends that it was a conflict that was prepared and planned for some time by Moscow, part of a broader strategy to send a message to the United States: that Russia is going to flex its muscle in the twenty-first century. A Little War that Changed the World is a fascinating look at the breakdown of relations between Russia and the West, the decay and decline of the Western Alliance itself, and the fate of Eastern Europe in a time of economic crisis.

Countdown to War in Georgia

Russia's Foreign Policy and Media Coverage of the Conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia
Author: Ana K. Niedermaier
Publisher: East View
ISBN: 9781879944046
Category: History
Page: 579
View: 8724

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In Wartime

Stories from Ukraine
Author: Tim Judah
Publisher: Tim Duggan Books
ISBN: 0451495497
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 6384

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From one of the finest journalists of our time comes a definitive, boots-on-the-ground dispatch from the front lines of the conflict in Ukraine. Ever since Ukraine’s violent 2014 revolution, followed by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the country has been at war. Misinformation reigns, more than two million people have been displaced, and Ukrainians fight one another on a second front—the crucial war against corruption. With In Wartime, Tim Judah lays bare the events that have turned neighbors against one another and mired Europe’s second-largest country in a conflict seemingly without end. In Lviv, Ukraine’s western cultural capital, mothers tend the graves of sons killed on the other side of the country. On the Maidan, the square where the protests that deposed President Yanukovych began, pamphleteers, recruiters, buskers, and mascots compete for attention. In Donetsk, civilians who cheered Russia’s President Putin find their hopes crushed as they realize they have been trapped in the twilight zone of a frozen conflict. Judah talks to everyone from politicians to poets, pensioners, and historians. Listening to their clashing explanations, he interweaves their stories to create a sweeping, tragic portrait of a country fighting a war of independence from Russia—twenty-five years after the collapse of the USSR.

The Future is History

How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
Author: Masha Gessen
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 159463453X
Category: History
Page: 515
View: 6844

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Putin's bestselling biographer reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy.

The Oligarchs

Wealth And Power In The New Russia
Author: David E. Hoffman
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 161039111X
Category: History
Page: 608
View: 9468

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In this saga of brilliant triumphs and magnificent failures, David E. Hoffman, the former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post, sheds light on the hidden lives of Russia's most feared power brokers: the oligarchs. Focusing on six of these ruthless men— Alexander Smolensky, Yuri Luzhkov, Anatoly Chubais, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Boris Berezovsky, and Vladimir Gusinsky—Hoffman shows how a rapacious, unruly capitalism was born out of the ashes of Soviet communism.

The New Tsar

The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin
Author: Steven Lee Myers
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345802799
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 592
View: 5758

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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.