The Invention of Russia: The Rise of Putin and the Age of Fake News

The Invention of Russia: The Rise of Putin and the Age of Fake News

by Arkady Ostrovsky


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“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. In his new paperback preface, Ostrovsky will explore how Putin influenced the US election, the Trump Putin access, and will consider how Putin's methods - weaponizing the media and serving up fake news - came to enter American politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399564178
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/04/2017
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 537,084
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Arkady Ostrovsky is a Russian-born journalist who has spent fifteen years reporting from Moscow, first for the Financial Times and then as bureau chief for The Economist. He studied Russian theater history in Moscow and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from Cambridge University. His translation of Tom Stoppard’s trilogy The Coast of Utopia has been published and staged in Russia. He has appeared on morning edition, CNN, the BBC and Sky News. The Invention of Russia won the Orwell Prize and was a Financial Times Book of the Year.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition ix

Prologue: A Silent Procession 1

I In the Beginning Was the Word

1 Fathers and Sons 11

2 New Beginning or Dead End 54

3 "We Suffered a Victory" 91

4 Kommersant or the Birth of Russian Capitalism 120

5 Loss 141

II "Image is Everything"

6 Normal Television in Abnormal Circumstances 167

7 The Oligarchs' War 205

8 Lights, Camera, Putin 228

9 Remote Control 263

10 Aerial Combat 304

Acknowledgments 333

Dramatis Persons 339

Notes 341

Select Bibliography 355

Index 361

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