Next Book: A Short History of Russia

My next book is A Short History of Russia, coming out in the UK at the end of April with Ebury (details here) and July in the US with Hanover Square (details here). Is is possible to squeeze all of this country’s amazing history – “from the pagans to Putin” –  into a brief book like this? Of course not: it was at once an exhilarating experiment and a heart-breaking one, to try and distil the big themes, the main characters, the pivotal events, knowing there was so much more I would have loved to cover, but couldn’t. All of the Soviet era? One chapter. The ‘Mongol Yoke’? Just about the same. Still, I had fun with it, and also it forced me to think of the wider dynamics, and especially in my case to focus on the stories Russians tell themselves and others about themselves, the way history is reshaped and plundered to suit the needs of today and the dreams of tomorrow.

More as publication gets closer, though feel free to pre-order now (seriously, I’d be very grateful: pre-orders both direct from the publishers and via Amazon have a disproportionate impact on the industry buzz and getting a book noticed for review and promotion), but in the meantime, here is a trio of very short promotional videos I filmed on a recent trip to a very chilly Moscow. (One-shot takes, just on a phone, so don’t expect undue professionalism, and apologies for the poor sound quality…)

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