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In the course of the past 45 years, Angus Roxburgh has translated Tolstoy, met four successive Russian presidents and been jinxed by a Siberian shaman. He has come under fire in war zones and been arrested by Chechen thugs. During the Cold War he was wooed by the KGB, who then decided he would make a lousy spy and expelled him from the country. In Moscow Calling Roxburgh presents his Russia - not the Russia of news reports, but a quirky, crazy, exasperating, beautiful, tumultuous world that in four decades has changed completely, and yet in some ways not at all. From the dark, fearful days of communism and his adventures as a correspondent covering the Soviet Union's collapse into chaos, to his frustrating work as a media consultant to Putin's Kremlin, his memoir offers a unique, fascinating and at times hilarious insight into a country that today, more than ever, is of global political significance.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters. Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.
In its first years as an independent state, Azerbaijan was a prime example of post-Soviet chaos - beset by coups and civil strife and astride an ethnic, political and religious divide. Author Goltz was detoured in Baku in mid-1991 and decided to stay, this diary is the record of his experiences.
The late Soviet physicist, activist, and Nobel laureate describes his upbringing, scientific work, rejection of Soviet repression, peace and human rights concerns, marriage and family, and persecution by the KGB
Roy Medvedev, one of the world's best-known Russian scholars and a former consultant to both Gorbachev and Yeltsin analyzes the main events that have transpired in the Russian federation since late August 1991. He looks at the plans that were meant to restructure a society in crisis but—for reasons both complex and obvious—were destined to fail. From the drastic liberalization of prices and "shock therapy" to the privatization of state owned property and Yeltsin's resignation and replacement by Vladimir Putin, this is an intricately fascinating saga of good intentions, philosophical warfare, and catastrophic miscalculations. Among the many compelling facts detailed here are Yeltsin's utter surprise—and lack of preparation—at the failed coup against Gorbachev in 1991, when power fell virtually into his lap; his failure to heed the warnings of learned advisers like Yuri Yaremenko, who knew that Western economics could not be applied to Russia; and Yeltsin's dramatic (and unprecedented) decree in 1992 allowing anyone to sell or buy anything they wished. In a sweeping conclusion covering the critical events of 1998 and 1999 as well as a detailed analysis of the 1995 and 1996 elections, Medvedev lays forth an exhaustive survey of recent political shifts, attitudes, statistics, and trends. From birth and death rates on the farm and in the city through a number of highly charged campaigns and elections to the new goal of the Communist Youth League (to become millionaires), this is a breathtakingly detailed survey of an unforgettable chapter in Russia's history.

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