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Winner of the Orwell Prize, a landmark account of Russia’s turbulent journey from the end of the Soviet Union to Putin’s autocratic police state.

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.

About the Author

Arkady Ostrovsky is a Russian-born journalist whose articles for the Financial Times were the first to warn of Russia’ impending takeover by the KGB. He is currently the Russia and East European editor for The Economist and was its Moscow bureau chief. Ostrovsky studied Russian theater history in Moscow and holds a PhD in English literature from Cambridge University. His translation of Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia has been published and staged in Russia. Ostrovsky is a regular commentator for major media on Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • History \ Europe

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