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Publisher's Summary

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 days to the autocratic police state of Putin's new Russia?

The Invention of Russia 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 for 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.

The Soviet Union yoked together dreamers and strongmen - those who believed in an egalitarian ideal and those who pushed for an even more powerful state. The new Russia is a cynical operation where perpetual fear and war are fueled by a web of lies. 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 promises - Ostrovsky emerges as Russia's most gifted chronicler.

©2015 Arkady Ostrovsky (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Hard to follow at first, but hang in there, it's worth it!

Some of the early stuff was hard to keep track of. Had to get the hard book so I could keep track of who's who. But once you get into the more recognizable names of the post-Soviet era it got very engaging and relevant.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Sad Story of Russia's Abandonment of Liberalism

Takes the story from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the consolidation of Putin's authoritarian rule. Special attention is paid to the role of the Russian media.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant. Brain Changing,

Both the author and the narrator are brilliant the other has introduced me to the deep intellectualism of the Russian psyche and the narrator could be reading anything and I would listen to him. I could listen for hours just to his
pronouncing Russian names.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Incredibly interesting!

Very informative and incredibly interesting. Although the book covers a very lengthy period of time, the author ties the narrative/central theme together very convincingly. I haven't read much about the history of Russia from a Russian/internal perspective. This book was very eye opening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A case-study in the powerful effect of state media

A fascinating book on the history of modern Russia. The take home for me was the tremendous effect the state media had in swaying the understanding and will of the public.

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A Wonderful Accounting of Media Influence

If you could sum up The Invention of Russia in three words, what would they be?

Media is Propoganda

Who was your favorite character and why?

There are no main characters to speak of in this book; there are definitely people who play their parts. However as each person plays their part, they eventually pass to the wayside. Instead, the main "character" the media in Russia. To this end, it is a great character arch: like a new born child, it is born in the dying Soviet Union; it has a blast of vibrant independence during the 1990s; finally, it is succumb by the realities of the world, becoming a tool of the powerful. A tragedy.

The author addresses a specific show political, tabloid news show in the book (I will leave it for you to find int he book) that parallels eerily the rise of similar shows in the US. It describes the assent of a bellicose and chauvinist announcer melodramatically playing martyr and champion simultaneously, while flashy lights and dramatic camera shots help keep mesmerized audiences stoked with anger and patriotic/political zeal, while neglecting critical thought. It is a great accounting of the process of how ultimately demagogues take control of a media outlet. It would be an intriguing story, but is seems pressing because of the sad reality of where it led in the Russian tale. One is left to wonder about the road that is being traveled in the US.

If you could give The Invention of Russia a new subtitle, what would it be?

How Russia Molded the Media that Molded Russia

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Solid insight into the role of media in politics

Great book from a writer who understands Russian culture and history. His analysis of the role of media in creating a parallel universe to control elections is on point. My only issue is - as usual with audible books - the reader doesn't pronounce foreign names properly and when he does puts on a performative "foreign" voice. It's off-putting.

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History of Russian media and journalism after end of

This book is an overview of history of Russia after the end of USSR. It is focused mainly on history of media and journalism, except for the first 4 years of Yeltsin reign. Some important events are briefly mentioned and other are covered from a single point of view. This might provide biased understanding. This shortcoming is can be tolerated because this is the only overview of that period of Russian history that I found on Audible.

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Enlghtening and frightening

Detailed and frightening history of Russia's descent into fascism and it's threat to the rest of the world.

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comprehensive

for those who want to know about the near failed state that is Russia and the "appeal" of a thug like Putin, this is a good place to start