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

The Invention of Russia From Gorbachev s Freedom to Putin s War A highly original narrative history by The Economist s Moscow bureau chief that does for modern Russia what Evan Osnos did for China in Age of Ambition The end of communism and breakup of the Soviet U

  • Title: The Invention of Russia: From Gorbachev's Freedom to Putin's War
  • Author: Arkady Ostrovsky
  • ISBN: 9780399564161
  • Page: 489
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A highly original narrative history by The Economist s Moscow bureau chief that does for modern Russia what Evan Osnos did for China in Age of Ambition The end of communism and breakup of the Soviet Union was a time of euphoria around the world, but Russia today is violently anti American and dangerously nationalistic So how did we go from the promise of those heady daysA highly original narrative history by The Economist s Moscow bureau chief that does for modern Russia what Evan Osnos did for China in Age of Ambition The end of communism and breakup of the Soviet Union was a time of euphoria around the world, but Russia today is violently anti American and dangerously nationalistic So how did we go from the promise of those heady days to the autocratic police state of Putin s new Russia The Invention of Russia is a breathtakingly ambitious book that reaches back to the darkest days of the cold war to tell the story of the fight for the soul of a nation With the deep insight only possible of a native son, Ostrovsky introduces us to the propagandists, oligarchs, and fixers who have set Russia s course since the collapse of the Soviet Union, inventing a new and ominous identity for a country where ideas are all too often wielded like a cudgel The Soviet Union yoked together dreamers and strongmen those who believed in an egalitarian ideal and those who pushed for an even powerful state The new Russia is a cynical operation, where perpetual fear and war are fueled by a web of lies, as television presenters peddle the invasion of Ukraine and goad Putin to go nuclear Twenty five years after the Soviet flag came down over the Kremlin, Russia and America are again heading toward a confrontation but this course was far from inevitable With this riveting account of how we got here of the many mistakes and false promises Ostrovsky emerges as Russia s most gifted chronicler.

    One thought on “The Invention of Russia: From Gorbachev's Freedom to Putin's War”

    1. There have been a number of illuminating books published on the recent history of Russia, and this joins them in bringing some new aspect of Russian society to our access. Instead of a straightforward political history of Russia, however, this volume focuses more on the history of media outlets, and how they have presented a series of narratives which shape public opinion. What Ostrovsky writes about, from his vantage point as a former Moscow Bureau Chief for The Economist, is the combination of [...]

    2. Winner of the Orwell Prize 2016Description: By tracing the history of modern Russia from Mikhail Gorbachev to the rise of ex KGB agent Vladimir Putin, Arkady Ostrovsky reveals how the Soviet Union came to its end and how Russia has since reinvented itself.Russia today bears little resemblance to the country that embraced freedom in the late eighties and gave freedom to others. But how did a country that had liberated itself from seventy years of Communism end up, just twenty years later, as one [...]

    3. An illuminating book about the role of the media in Russian history from Perestroika through the Ukraine intervention. Hadrian has provided a good review. I just add my sigh at the gyrations of a state with so much potential and no core of belief in the institutions necessary to make it happen.

    4. The Invention of Russia traces the development of the modern Putin- State of Russia. Written by a Russian born journalist eminently familiar with the inner working of Russian media the book looks at the way the media services were always suborned by the powers that be.In the beginning we look at the way gradual easing of the murderous Stalin regime's supreme control of all media- from newspapers to radio, were slightly eased by his predecessors. Each succeeding leader from Krushchev to Gorbachev [...]

    5. Ostrovsky analyzes and explains how Russia became what it is under Putin, focusing on the role of the media from Yeltsin until today. He contends the media has led the way, and been led along the way, on defining contemporary Russia. It ushered in Putin. The media went from communicating by what they omitted, standardizing the State’s narrative, reporting, explaining, instructing and defining and amplifying to helping create a virtual reality today. “… politics was replaced by political te [...]

    6. "Author, Arkady Ostrovsky is a Russian-born journalist who has spent 15 years reporting from Moscow, first for the Financial Times and then as bureau chief for The Economis(from book cover)Arkady Ostrovsky proposes the answer to the questionWhat happened to the promise of the late 80's and early 90's Russia?Parameters like foreign affairs, politics and economy do notgive the complete narrative.Media was seen as a "prism for Russia's post Soviet transformation."Idealogues and oligarchical activit [...]

    7. Ostrovsky examines the way newspapers and television have shaped modern Russian history. An interesting account of the late Soviet period and the 90s, which focuses recurrently on dramatis personae like Yakovlevs, Alexander, Yegor & Vladimir, to tease out changing moral and social attitudes. The book is let down by its cliched canter through the Putin years, relying on unevidenced assertions and some manifest falsehoods, like the claim Russia was the aggressor during the Georgian War. The au [...]

    8. An absolutely fascinating history of mass media within the former Soviet Union and present-day Russia. Considering my undergraduate degree is in mass communication and political science, and I spent a year and a half of my undergraduate career studying Russia, this book integrates both interests seamlessly. This book could also not be more timely, since it contains a new preface about Trump and Putin following the recent election in the United States.Mass media has always been instrumental in th [...]

    9. This is a good book on the transformation of Russia over the last 30 years, with special attention paid to the role of the media in Russia in those changes.One thing to realize about this book is that it's more about how we got to Putin than on Putin's Russia itself. Oh, there is more than a little bit on Putin's tenure, but you get far more detail on the Gorbachev and Yeltsin years. The last two (out of ten) chapters are on the 21st century, even though that covers about as many years as the Go [...]

    10. “So the media turned to history --not by way of a serious examination but as a form of entertainment.” ~ Arkady OstrovskyPutin can be viewed as a product of an environment, an environment where a Vladamir Putin was inevitable. This text is a recent history of the Russian media apparatuses role in feeding the Russian people a nostalgia for a Russia that never was, in hopes of bolstering their own power and insulating themselves from scrutiny by state censors. Lenin was used throughout this ti [...]

    11. Overall this was a very interesting and informative work that details the transition from the final years of the USSR to the rise of Putin. Ostrovsky takes a unique approach in examining the role of the media throughout the evolution of Russian politics.As with most works involving Russian history/politics/literature there are a great deal of potentially confusing names, such as two prominent but unrelated figures named Yakovlev, but there is a handy Dramatis Personae outlining a who's who of Ru [...]

    12. I thoroughly enjoyed ''The Invention of Russia'' for the interesting subject matter and compelling ideas provoked by the author. While it didn't single handedly answer the question asked in the premise, it did gave some reasons on how and why new Russia happened.

    13. Informative, true and honest account of the last few years of the modern Russian history. A must read for everyone interested in what's happening on the 1/6th of the world surface.

    14. A history of the last 25 years of Russia as it was shaped by the Soviet intelligentsia or their modern equivalents. The author's knowledge of literature also shines through with references to Bulgakov, Shakespeare in a very relevant context.

    15. I enjoyed this book much more than I imagined and found myself highlighting interesting passages and adding notes along the way. AUTHORThe author, Arkady Ostrovsky, is a Russian-born, British journalist. He holds a PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University. In addition, he is Russia and Eastern Europe editor for The Economist. This book won numerous awards and the author definitely knows of what he writesE MEDIA- The book covers the period from the Cold War to the fall of the Soviet Un [...]

    16. Arkady Ostrovsky has written an extraordinary chronicle that explains the rise of Putin. The Invention of Russia is the gripping account of the 1985-2015 period from glasnost to kleptocracy. Read this.

    17. Ostrovsky's post-Soviet Union history of Russia is an odd patchwork of a book, detailed and riveting in some parts and perplexingly thin in others. We begin with the classic Russian theme of generations of fathers and sons struggling to succeed one another -- unnamed Turgenev looms large -- and it seems to be a thematic tool that serves the first half of the book well. He dispenses with the Stalin-to-Gorbachev years with narrative efficiency, doing in 150 pages what it took Remnick 600 to do. Bu [...]

    18. A good insight into societal dynamics in Russia of 80-90s, covering the evolution of the soviet propaganda machine to allegedly free media, a birth of privately owned tv channels and newspapers, media personalities and battles between and with media tycoons. Well thought and depicted inextricable link between Khruschev thaw, perestroika and 90s. The rise and fall of the first Russian president and his connection to oligarchs. All this being changed with new era of Putin who took full control of [...]

    19. This book is especially frightening in light of what's happening in our own country. Substitute America for Russia and Trump for Putin in these quotes:Television images work like drugs, creating a sense of elation, destroying judgment and intelligence, lowering moral barriers and suppressing inhibitions and fear. No enemy of Russia could have caused as much harm to the country as has been inflicted by those who have been pumping these images into the bloodstream of the nation. Just like any dru [...]

    20. I received this book through "Good Reads Giveaway."The author/journalist tries to document a detailed history of recent events in Russia. There are many individuals involved with many stories confusing the reader to some degree. He emphasizes the important role of TV and print media in transforming the country and on occasion misleading it. An important read for anyone trying to understand Putin and modern Russia.

    21. Fascinating account of the journey from Communism to Putin's Russia. Very useful to have all the names from past news programmes put into context: many of them dead, sometimes in mysterious circumstances. Would like to have had more details about Putin, but the lack of these may reflect the difficulty accessing such information.

    22. Must Read!The rise of Trumpism in America is easily understood after reading this book. Americans have increasingly become victims of a massive plot, while using multimedia, to keep the masses politically uninformed and incredulously ignorant.

    23. Goes beyond the simple reconstruction of the chain of events and provides ample explanation and analysis of possible motivations and reasons behind the current state of Russia.

    24. I picked up The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky because I wanted to know more about Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, especially the rise of Putin. Now I’m half wishing I hadn’t been so inclined. This is a scary book because of its two main conclusions: 1) You never know how history will unfold, and 2) Vladimir Putin is a serious threat to Russian—and world—stability.The first two-thirds of the book or so correspond to the first conclusion. This is a fascinating chronicl [...]

    25. This book is something like a history of the media in Russia, focusing mostly on the last 50 years or so (post-Prague Spring), and especially on the eras of Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin. I frankly don't enough about Russian history to dispute any of the book's factual claims (and I didn't even try to remember all the names or events). That being said, this book is quite a bit more than it what it seems to be at first glance, and I found it to be highly worthwhile, if it at times a bit uncomfort [...]

    26. history of post-soviet russia reaches back to khrushchev's repudiation of stalin and advances all the way past the sochi olympics to current events in crimea and eastern ukraine.history via media: it's about the shaping of opinions and paradigms and ideologies through tv and newspapers.of course i find the stuff about putin the most interesting and it seems to walk that fine line that seems closest to the truth, putin somehow being a non-nationalist statist, non-imperialist expansionist, non-ide [...]

    27. This challenging book describes the political and media history from the time of Gorbachov until the 2014 Sochi Olympics. It is a dramatic portrayal of the death of hope. And it is incredibly pertinent to the current Russian investigations in the US. Where the Soviet era was characterized by the supremacy of ideology over humanity, Yeltsin's tenure was characterized by a lack of vision and a misunderstanding of the nature of capitalism. The government gave away ownership of the major industries [...]

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