How did a country that liberated itself from seventy years of Soviet rule end up as one of the biggest threats to the West and, above all, to its own future? Why did the people who rejected Communist ideology come to accept state propaganda? In this bold and important book, Arkady Ostrovsky takes the reader on an enthralling journey from Gorbachev's freedom to Putin's war, illuminating the key turning points that often took the world by surprise. The main characters are not politicians, however, but those who took charge of the media and the message and invented Russia's dominant narrative.
From the suddenly wealthy men who came to command the airwaves to the newspaper editors and TV directors, and from the Russian intelligentsia to the Kremlin spin doctors and ideologists, The Invention of Russia reveals the conflicts, compromises and temptations that have left Russia on a knife-edge.
Arkady Ostrovsky is a Russian-born, British journalist who has spent fifteen years reporting from Moscow, first for the Financial Times and then as a bureau chief for The Economist. He studied Russian theatre history in Moscow and holds a PhD in English Literature from Cambridge University. His translation of Tom Stoppard's trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, has been published and staged in Russia.