The Invention of Russia

The Invention of Russia
Author: Arkady Ostrovsky
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780399564185
Available:
Release: 2016-06-07
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781782397410
Available:
Release: 2015-09-17
Editor: Atlantic Books Ltd
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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
Pages: 374
ISBN: 9780399564178
Available:
Release: 2015
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"A highly original narrative history by The Economist's Moscow bureau chief that does for modern Russia what Evan Osnos did for China in The 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, Arkady 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 more ominous identity for a country where ideas are all too often wielded like a cudgel"--PRovided by publisher.

Children of Rus

Children of Rus
Author: Faith Hillis
Pages: 348
ISBN: 9780801469251
Available:
Release: 2013-11-27
Editor: Cornell University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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 Invention of Mikhail Lomonosov

The Invention of Mikhail Lomonosov
Author: Steven Usitalo
Pages: 298
ISBN: 1618111957
Available:
Release: 2013
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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 Future Is History

The Future Is History
Author: Masha Gessen
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9780698406209
Available:
Release: 2017-10-03
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Russia s Cosmonauts

Russia s Cosmonauts
Author: Rex D. Hall,Shayler David,Bert Vis
Pages: 386
ISBN: 0387739750
Available:
Release: 2007-10-05
Editor: Springer Science & Business Media
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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

Assignment Moscow

Assignment Moscow
Author: James Rodgers
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780755601165
Available:
Release: 2020-06-25
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

The Invention of Exile

The Invention of Exile
Author: Vanessa Manko
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780698146440
Available:
Release: 2014-08-14
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Lost Kingdom

Lost Kingdom
Author: Serhii Plokhy
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780465097395
Available:
Release: 2017-10-10
Editor: Basic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From a preeminent scholar of Eastern Europe, a new history of Russian imperialism In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea and attempted to seize a portion of Ukraine. While the world watched in outrage, this blatant violation of national sovereignty was only the latest iteration of a centuries-long effort to expand Russian boundaries and create a pan-Russian nation. In Lost Kingdom, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues that we can only understand the confluence of Russian imperialism and nationalism today by delving into the nation's history. Spanning over 500 years, from the end of the Mongol rule to the present day, Plokhy shows how leaders from Ivan the Terrible to Joseph Stalin to Vladimir Putin exploited existing forms of identity, warfare, and territorial expansion to achieve imperial supremacy. An authoritative and masterful account of Russian nationalism, Lost Kingdom chronicles the story behind Russia's belligerent empire-building quest.

The Red Web

The Red Web
Author: Andrei Soldatov,Irina Borogan
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781610395748
Available:
Release: 2015-09-08
Editor: PublicAffairs
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Lonely Ideas

Lonely Ideas
Author: Loren Graham
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9780262317399
Available:
Release: 2013-09-13
Editor: MIT Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An expert investigates Russia's long history of technological invention followed by commercial failure and points to new opportunities to break the pattern. When have you gone into an electronics store, picked up a desirable gadget, and found that it was labeled “Made in Russia”? Probably never. Russia, despite its epic intellectual achievements in music, literature, art, and pure science, is a negligible presence in world technology. Despite its current leaders' ambitions to create a knowledge economy, Russia is economically dependent on gas and oil. In Lonely Ideas, Loren Graham investigates Russia's long history of technological invention followed by failure to commercialize and implement. For three centuries, Graham shows, Russia has been adept at developing technical ideas but abysmal at benefiting from them. From the seventeenth-century arms industry through twentieth-century Nobel-awarded work in lasers, Russia has failed to sustain its technological inventiveness. Graham identifies a range of conditions that nurture technological innovation: a society that values inventiveness and practicality; an economic system that provides investment opportunities; a legal system that protects intellectual property; a political system that encourages innovation and success. Graham finds Russia lacking on all counts. He explains that Russia's failure to sustain technology, and its recurrent attempts to force modernization, reflect its political and social evolution and even its resistance to democratic principles. But Graham points to new connections between Western companies and Russian researchers, new research institutions, a national focus on nanotechnology, and the establishment of Skolkovo, “a new technology city.” Today, he argues, Russia has the best chance in its history to break its pattern of technological failure.

The Unlikely Futurist

The Unlikely Futurist
Author: James Rann
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9780299328108
Available:
Release: 2020
Editor: Publications of the Wisconsin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

The Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution
Author: Sean McMeekin
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9780465094974
Available:
Release: 2017-05-30
Editor: Basic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From an award-winning scholar comes this definitive, single-volume history that illuminates the tensions and transformations of the Russian Revolution. ​ In The Russian Revolution, acclaimed historian Sean McMeekin traces the events which ended Romanov rule, ushered the Bolsheviks into power, and introduced Communism to the world. Between 1917 and 1922, Russia underwent a complete and irreversible transformation. Taking advantage of the collapse of the Tsarist regime in the middle of World War I, the Bolsheviks staged a hostile takeover of the Russian Imperial Army, promoting mutinies and mass desertions of men in order to fulfill Lenin's program of turning the "imperialist war" into civil war. By the time the Bolsheviks had snuffed out the last resistance five years later, over 20 million people had died, and the Russian economy had collapsed so completely that Communism had to be temporarily abandoned. Still, Bolshevik rule was secure, owing to the new regime's monopoly on force, enabled by illicit arms deals signed with capitalist neighbors such as Germany and Sweden who sought to benefit-politically and economically-from the revolutionary chaos in Russia. Drawing on scores of previously untapped files from Russian archives and a range of other repositories in Europe, Turkey, and the United States, McMeekin delivers exciting, groundbreaking research about this turbulent era. The first comprehensive history of these momentous events in two decades, The Russian Revolution combines cutting-edge scholarship and a fast-paced narrative to shed new light on one of the most significant turning points of the twentieth century.

The Cambridge Companion to Modern Russian Culture

The Cambridge Companion to Modern Russian Culture
Author: Nicholas Rzhevsky
Pages: 392
ISBN: 9781107002524
Available:
Release: 2012-04-05
Editor: Cambridge University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A fully updated new edition of this overview of contemporary Russia and the influence of its Soviet past.

Once Upon a Time in Russia

Once Upon a Time in Russia
Author: Ben Mezrich
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781476771915
Available:
Release: 2015-06-02
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The New York Times bestselling author of Bringing Down the House and The Accidental Billionaires tells his most incredible story yet: A true drama of obscene wealth, crime, rivalry, and betrayal from deep inside the world of billionaire Russian oligarchs that Booklist called “one more example of just how talented a storyteller [Mezrich] is.” Meet two larger-than-life Russians: former mathematician Boris Berezovsky, who moved into more lucrative ventures as well as politics, becoming known as the Godfather of the Kremlin; and Roman Abramovich, a dashing young entrepreneur who built one of Russia’s largest oil companies from the ground up. After a chance meeting on a yacht in the Caribbean, the men became locked in a complex partnership, surfing the waves of privatization after the fall of the Soviet regime and amassing mega fortunes while also taking the reins of power in Russia. With Berezovsky serving as the younger entrepreneur’s krysha—literally, his roof, his protector—they battled their way through the “Wild East” of Russia until their relationship soured when Berezovsky attacked President Vladimir Putin in the media. Dead bodies trailed Berezovsky as he escaped to London, where an associate died painfully of Polonium poisoning, creating an international furor. As Abramovich prospered, Berezovsky was found dead in a luxurious London town house, declared a suicide. With unprecedented, exclusive first-person sourcing, Mezrich takes us inside a world of unimaginable wealth, power, and corruption to uncover this exciting story, a true-life thriller epic for our time—“Wolf Hall on the Moskva” (Bookpage).

Putin s People

Putin s People
Author: Catherine Belton
Pages: 640
ISBN: 9780374712785
Available:
Release: 2020-06-23
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A Sunday Times bestseller | A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Named a best book of the year by The Economist | Financial Times | New Statesman | The Telegraph "[Putin's People] will surely now become the definitive account of the rise of Putin and Putinism." —Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic "This riveting, immaculately researched book is arguably the best single volume written about Putin, the people around him and perhaps even about contemporary Russia itself in the past three decades." —Peter Frankopan, Financial Times Interference in American elections. The sponsorship of extremist politics in Europe. War in Ukraine. In recent years, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has waged a concerted campaign to expand its influence and undermine Western institutions. But how and why did all this come about, and who has orchestrated it? In Putin’s People, the investigative journalist and former Moscow correspondent Catherine Belton reveals the untold story of how Vladimir Putin and the small group of KGB men surrounding him rose to power and looted their country. Delving deep into the workings of Putin’s Kremlin, Belton accesses key inside players to reveal how Putin replaced the freewheeling tycoons of the Yeltsin era with a new generation of loyal oligarchs, who in turn subverted Russia’s economy and legal system and extended the Kremlin's reach into the United States and Europe. The result is a chilling and revelatory exposé of the KGB’s revanche—a story that begins in the murk of the Soviet collapse, when networks of operatives were able to siphon billions of dollars out of state enterprises and move their spoils into the West. Putin and his allies subsequently completed the agenda, reasserting Russian power while taking control of the economy for themselves, suppressing independent voices, and launching covert influence operations abroad. Ranging from Moscow and London to Switzerland and Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach—and assembling a colorful cast of characters to match—Putin’s People is the definitive account of how hopes for the new Russia went astray, with stark consequences for its inhabitants and, increasingly, the world.

The Man Without a Face

The Man Without a Face
Author: Masha Gessen
Pages: 329
ISBN: 9781594486517
Available:
Release: 2013
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Documents the Russian prime minister's rapid ascent from a low-level KGB operative to the presidency, describing his selection by an ailing Boris Yeltsin's oligarchy and the ways in which the author believes that his views and ambitions have renewed Russia's threatening position to its citizens and the world. By the author of Perfect Rigor. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.

The Last Empire

The Last Empire
Author: Serhii Plokhy
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9780465097920
Available:
Release: 2015-09-08
Editor: Basic Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

On Christmas Day, 1991, President George H. W. Bush addressed the nation to declare an American victory in the Cold War: earlier that day Mikhail Gorbachev had resigned as the first and last Soviet president. The enshrining of that narrative, one in which the end of the Cold War was linked to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the triumph of democratic values over communism, took center stage in American public discourse immediately after Bush's speech and has persisted for decades -- with disastrous consequences for American standing in the world. As prize-winning historian Serhii Plokhy reveals in The Last Empire, the collapse of the Soviet Union was anything but the handiwork of the United States. On the contrary, American leaders dreaded the possibility that the Soviet Union -- weakened by infighting and economic turmoil -- might suddenly crumble, throwing all of Eurasia into chaos. Bush was firmly committed to supporting his ally and personal friend Gorbachev, and remained wary of nationalist or radical leaders such as recently elected Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Fearing what might happen to the large Soviet nuclear arsenal in the event of the union's collapse, Bush stood by Gorbachev as he resisted the growing independence movements in Ukraine, Moldova, and the Caucasus. Plokhy's detailed, authoritative account shows that it was only after the movement for independence of the republics had gained undeniable momentum on the eve of the Ukrainian vote for independence that fall that Bush finally abandoned Gorbachev to his fate. Drawing on recently declassified documents and original interviews with key participants, Plokhy presents a bold new interpretation of the Soviet Union's final months and argues that the key to the Soviet collapse was the inability of the two largest Soviet republics, Russia and Ukraine, to agree on the continuing existence of a unified state. By attributing the Soviet collapse to the impact of American actions, US policy makers overrated their own capacities in toppling and rebuilding foreign regimes. Not only was the key American role in the demise of the Soviet Union a myth, but this misplaced belief has guided -- and haunted -- American foreign policy ever since.

Putin Country

Putin Country
Author: Anne Garrels
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780374710439
Available:
Release: 2016-03-15
Editor: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Short-listed for the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize More than twenty years ago, the NPR correspondent Anne Garrels first visited Chelyabinsk, a gritty military-industrial center a thousand miles east of Moscow. The longtime home of the Soviet nuclear program, the Chelyabinsk region contained beautiful lakes, shuttered factories, mysterious closed cities, and some of the most polluted places on earth. Garrels’s goal was to chart the aftershocks of the U.S.S.R.’s collapse by traveling to Russia’s heartland. Returning again and again, Garrels found that the area’s new freedoms and opportunities were exciting but also traumatic. As the economic collapse of the early 1990s abated, the city of Chelyabinsk became richer and more cosmopolitan, even as official corruption and intolerance for minorities grew more entrenched. Sushi restaurants proliferated; so did shakedowns. In the neighboring countryside, villages crumbled into the ground. Far from the glitz of Moscow, the people of Chelyabinsk were working out their country’s destiny, person by person. In Putin Country, Garrels crafts an intimate portrait of Middle Russia. We meet upwardly mobile professionals, impassioned activists who champion the rights of orphans and disabled children, and ostentatious mafiosi. We discover surprising subcultures, such as a vibrant underground gay community and a circle of determined Protestant evangelicals. And we watch doctors and teachers trying to cope with inescapable payoffs and institutionalized negligence. As Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on power and war in Ukraine leads to Western sanctions and a lower standard of living, the local population mingles belligerent nationalism with a deep ambivalence about their country’s direction. Through it all, Garrels sympathetically charts an ongoing identity crisis. In the aftermath of the Soviet Union, what is Russia? What kind of pride and cohesion can it offer? Drawing on close friendships sustained over many years, Garrels explains why Putin commands the loyalty of so many Russians, even those who decry the abuses of power they regularly encounter. Correcting the misconceptions of Putin’s supporters and critics alike, Garrels’s portrait of Russia’s silent majority is both essential and engaging reading at a time when cold war tensions are resurgent.