Originally published in Great Britain in 2015 by Atlantic Books.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 337-355) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
I: In the beginning was the word. Fathers and sons ; New beginning or dead end ; "We suffered a victory" ; Kommersant or the birth of Russian capitalism ; Loss -- II: "Image is everything". Normal television in abnormal circumstances ; The oligarchs' war ; Lights, camera, Putin ; Remote control ; Aerial combat.
The end of communism and breakup of the Soviet Union was a time of euphoria around the world, but Russia today is violently expansionary and dangerously nationalistic. So how did we go from the promise of those days to the autocratic police state of Putin new Russia? The Invention of Russia reaches back to the darkest days of the Cold War to tell the story of this stealthy counterrevolution. With the deep insight only possible of a native son, Arkady Ostrovsky introduces us to the propagandists and TV personalities who have set Russia course since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union yoked together dreamers and strongmen--reformers who believed that socialism needed only to be freed from Stalin crimes and nationalists who pushed for an ever more powerful state. Ostrovsky sees Gorbachev as the last of the dreamers. When his enlightened socialism failed to stock the shelves, the country turned to a mercurial strongman whose pyrotechnics would stoke their pride while his plunder on behalf of the state jump-started the economy. Putin Russia is a cynical operation, where perpetual fear and perpetual war are fueled by a web of lies, as the media peddles myths to justify the invasion of Ukraine, cheers the bombing of Syria, and goads 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 steps along the way--Ostrovsky emerges as Russia most gifted chronicler.--Dust jacket.