Across the Moscow River: The World Turned Upside Down

Overview

'This extremely interesting, truthful, and honest book gives an objective and dramatic picture of Russia. If others in the West had understood my country as profoundly as Rodric Braithwaite does, history would have treated us all more kindly.' Mikhail Gorbachev

Rodric Braithwaite was British ambassador to Moscow during the critical years of Perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the failed coup of August 1991, and the rise of Boris Yeltsin. From the vantage point of the British Embassy (once the ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $38.70   
  • New (3) from $38.70   
  • Used (1) from $43.71   
Sending request ...

Overview

'This extremely interesting, truthful, and honest book gives an objective and dramatic picture of Russia. If others in the West had understood my country as profoundly as Rodric Braithwaite does, history would have treated us all more kindly.' Mikhail Gorbachev

Rodric Braithwaite was British ambassador to Moscow during the critical years of Perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the failed coup of August 1991, and the rise of Boris Yeltsin. From the vantage point of the British Embassy (once the mansion of the great nineteenth-century merchant Pavel Kharitonenko) with its commanding views across the Moscow River to Red Square and the Kremlin, Braithwaite had a ringside seat. With his long experience of Russia and the Russians, who saw him as 'Mrs Thatcher's Ambassador', on good personal terms with Mikhail Gorbachev, he was in a privileged position close to the centre of Russia's changing relationship with the West.

But this is not primarily a memoir. It is an intimate analysis of momentous change and the people who drove it, against the background of Russia's long history and its unique but essentially European culture. Braithwaite watched as Gorbachev and his allies struggled to modernise and democratise a system which had already reached the point of terminal decay. Against the opposition of the generals, they forced the abandonment of the nuclear confrontation as the Soviet Union fell apart. The climax of the drama came in August 1991 when a miscellaneous collection of conservative patriots - generals, politicians and secret policemen - attempted to reverse the course of history and succeeded only in accelerating the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Braithwaite left Moscow with Russia at its lowest ebb, grappling with the problems of an unfamiliar market economy on its uncertain path towards becoming a modern liberal state. Written with vigour, frankness and hope, and with a considerable feel for atmosphere and tension, this is a revealing and compassionate account of one of the twentieth century's most dramatic reversals of fortune.

Rodric Braithwaite and his wife Jill were based in Moscow from September 1988 to May 1992.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
Braithwaite was British ambassador to the Soviet Union and then to Russia from Fall 1988 to May 1992. He is a man of brusque, elegant opinions and prose, with a quick, self-deprecating sense of humor. He arrived when the axle of Mikhail Gorbachev's reform was beginning to creak and crack over the deep, hard ruts of Soviet reality and the East European regimes were nearing collapse. By this time, he frankly confesses, his country no longer had much of a role to play in the unfolding East-West drama. Still, his third-party insights into the Cold War's endgame, particularly German reunification, are very useful. Best in the memoir, however, are his portraits of the Soviet officials with whom he dealt, the revealing, often amusing descriptions of his travels in the country, and the running account of his encounters amid the dizzying events of these years. The last includes extended reportage of the August 1991 putsch.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300204186
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/3/2002
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue ix
1 The View across the River 1
2 The Russians are Coming 18
3 The Flight of the Bumble Bee 58
4 Democracy Comes to the Soviet Union 88
5 The Ashes of Victory 117
6 Fraying at the Edges 150
7 The Lurch to the Right 182
8 Diary of a Coup 216
9 The Rubble of the Dictatorship 246
10 Arguing about the Economy 281
11 Towards a Radiant Future? 317
Notes and Comments 343
Bibliography 352
Index 356
Acknowledgements 372
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)