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  • Hardcover
  • 506
  • Red Fortress The Secret Heart of Russia's History
  • Catherine Merridale
  • English
  • 10 September 2017
  • 9781846140372

characters Red Fortress The Secret Heart of Russia's History

Catherine Merridale Æ 4 Read Read ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Æ Catherine Merridale Red Fortress The Secret Heart of Russia's History Read É 104 The extraordinary story of the Kremlin from prize winning author and historian Catherine MerridaleBoth beautiful and profoundly menacing the Kremlin has dominated Moscow for many centuries Behind its great red walls and towers many of the most startling events in Russia's history have been acted out It is both a real place and an imaginative idea; Sometimes we gaze out over the red brick walls at pivotal moments taking shape across the vast Russian landscape sometimes we look down upon the Moskva but most of the time we re on the inside watching buildings rise and crumble as Byzantine robes give way to red bannersNeither fish nor fowl it s easier to say what this book is not It s not a history of Russia nor a history of Moscow It s not completely a history of the Kremlin either That would entail an in depth look at the architecture of the complex from medieval times to the post Soviet restaurations The buildings mostly come into focus at the stage of construction and demolition their fragile splendor interpreted as symbols of tsarist power All this talk of marble and gold would ve warranted a substantial illustration section that leaves Putin out of the picture It s easy to see why he s featured tough the Kremlin can only be a lightweight subject unless intermingled with the lineage of Russia s rulers over the past thousand years It doesn t hurt to have some prior knowledgeMerridale s own stories as a researcher make clear that the Kremlin is a place where history is an illusion a reconstructed story of the past to the Nth degree While the modern complex may seem an organic whole on display it is populated by the ghosts of palaces long demolished Visitors glimpse only a small part of what is left standing the staff holding the ornate keys to entire churches that silently turn to dust behind hidden gates Even in the 21st century the state reserves the right to control the narrative in the interest of its legimitation In this respect little has changed since before Alexander Nevsky defeated the Teutonic Knights on the ice he did not To the Byzantine splendor that defined the timeless otherness of the Russian lands to the Western eye was added the Enlighted veneer of the great Peter and Catherine as their realm was enlarged across Siberia to the Pacific coast and inched forward at the point of a bayonet on its western borders to redefine Russia as a European Great Power The Red stars planted upon the domes radiated the legitimacy of Soviet overlordship as the internationalist principle of pre revolutionary communism gave way to a centralized empire of socialist states under Russia The rallying cry of Za Rodina was briefly resurrected with Army Group Centre at the gates of Moscow and preserved in the postwar nomenclature of the Great Patriotic War And now The Soviet Union fell a generation ago the initial euphoria has waned and the geostrategic giant on feet of clay ponders its place in the world Again the mass of the Kremlin whispers It is your destiny to be great Have your pick at by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Read ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Æ Catherine MerridaleRed Fortress The Secret Heart of Russia's History

Catherine Merridale Æ 4 Read Read ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Æ Catherine Merridale Red Fortress The Secret Heart of Russia's History Read É 104 Lin is one of the very few buildings in the world which still keeps its original late medieval function as a palace built to intimidate the ruler's subjects and to frighten foreign emissaries Red Fortress brilliantly conveys this sense of the Kremlin as a stage set nearly as potent under Vladimir Putin as it was under earlier far baleful inhabitant A fantastic introduction to the broad sweep of Russian history through the lens of the pretty ill treated Kremlin complex Ms Merridale s depth of research is accompanied by a great turn of phrase and the ability to keep the reader interested through a sometimes dizzying whirl of dynastic change I particularly enjoyed the coverage of the grim days of the Stalin purges and the role of the Kremlin in attempts to legitimise the post communist democratic settlement Ms Merridale s attempts to demonstrate the historical flexibility of Russia and its people as a counter to perceptions of an ingrained authoritarian streak in the Russian national character is not particularly convincing however and her readable and competent overview of their history particularly the 1617th century Time of Troubles period the Civil War and the early 1990s is likely to cement the view that Russians want strong government precisely because they feel they have so much to fear from its opposite But none of this takes away from a great read that wonderfully illustrates the frenetic chaotic destructive and romantic history of this tiny area Would definitely recommend

Catherine Merridale Æ 4 Read

Catherine Merridale Æ 4 Read Read ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Æ Catherine Merridale Red Fortress The Secret Heart of Russia's History Read É 104 A shorthand for a certain kind of secretive power but also the heart of a specific Russian authenticityCatherine Merridale's exceptional new book revels in both the drama of the Kremlin and its sheer unexpectedness an impregnable fortress which has repeatedly been devastated a symbol of all that is Russian substantially created by Italians The Krem I always thought of the Kremlin as an elegant and stately government building in the French Imperial style with Byzantine and Russian motifs surrounded by an imposing red wall in front of the enormous Red Suare forever flanked by St Basil s Cathedral which in my humble opinion is like an Arabian fairy tale nightmare induced by really bad shrooms In political terms I believed said building simply housed the office and staff of Russian potentates a sort of White House in steroids since Russian leaders seem to enjoy enormous unchecked powers vis vis their American counterparts As it happens I was wrong I was only thinking of the Grand Kremlin Palace The Kremlin is not a building but a citadel Indeed the very definition of Kremlin is the citadel of Moscow In her book the author describes in chronological order the origins and development of this citadel of Moscow The book provides a detailed account on each structure that ever populated the citadel who commissioned it what was its function where within the compound was it located who was the architect its style a description of the structure who built it when and why was it destroyed or renovated etc By placing each structure within its historical context the author ends up giving a condensed history of Russia Moscow has been Russia s capital city for seven 7 out of its nine 9 centuries of history For most of that time the Kremlin has been its seat of power Since its origin it has witnessed many of the major events which shaped present day Russia As a result the Kremlin is not only the very foundation of Russia but it also lies at its very heart Even when the capital was St Peterburg or when the real business of government was carried out elsewhere although neglected it was never forgotten To this day it remains the most recognizable icon of Russian government In this regard the book is downright fascinating My only complaint is that not all buildings are accompanied by an illustration In addition all pictures and illustrations therein which are by far incomplete are bundled together in the beginning the middle and the end of the book without any reference to them in the text itself Thus many of the buildings described in the book get lost in my imagination