The Long Hangover: Putin's New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past

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In The Long Hangover, Shaun Walker provides a deeply reported, bottom-up explanation of Russia's resurgence under Putin. By cleverly exploiting the memory of the Soviet victory over fascism in World War II, Putin's regime has made ordinary Russians feel that their country is great again.Shaun Walker provides new insight into contemporary Russia and its search for a new identity, telling the story through the country's troubled relationship with its Soviet past. Walker not only explains Vladimir Putin's goals and the government's official manipulations of history, but also focuses on ordinary Russians and their motivations. He charts how Putin raised victory in World War II to the status of a national founding myth in the search for a unifying force to heal a divided country,and shows how dangerous the ramifications of this have been. The book explores why Russia, unlike Germany, has failed to come to terms with the darkest pages of its past: Stalin's purges, the Gulag, and the war deportations. The narrative roams from the corridors of the Kremlin to the wilds of the Gulags and the trenches of East Ukraine. It puts the annexation of Crimea and the newly assertive Russia in the context of the delayed fallout of the Soviet collapse. The Long Hangover is a book about a lost generation: the millions of Russians who lost their country and the subsequent attempts to restore to them a sense of purpose. Packed with analysis but told mainly through vibrant reportage, it is a thoughtful exploration of the legacy of the Soviet collapse and how it has affected life in Russia and Putins policies.
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ISBN-13: 9780190659240
ISBN-10: 0190659246
Pagini: 288
Dimensiuni: 164 x 236 x 26 mm
Greutate: 0.54 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States


I've a soft spot for this stylish gonzo-like first person narrative voice that Walker uses to great effect.
The Long Hangover is considered and careful and humane, and should be compulsory reading for any politician considering engagement with either Moscow or Ukraine. It's not only the best book I've read on Putin's Russia, but also has great resonance for the age of Donald Trump and Brexit: no one likes being told they're a loser, everyone needs something to believe in.
[Walker] does an excellent job and ... keeps his narrative relatively short in a gripping and clear-sighted way.
[Walker] is more successful than most of his western journalistic competitors in exploring the often contradictory attitudes that Russians hold towards their president and the hybrid system he is building on the basis of Russian nationalism, Soviet nostalgia and a striving for international respect.
[Walker] looks at the Russia that Putin has created in minute and humane detail ... He does so through intimate conversations with Russians (and others) who have been affected by the way Putin has run his country, and creates composite images of a nation traumatised by its Soviet history but unable or unwilling to face that past.
the best history of the ideologies and politics behind the headlines ... Walker's meticulous documentation of the annexation of Crimea and the subsequent occupation of Ukraine makes this exemplary political history, but The Long Hangover will be remembered, and re-read, as a history of memory.
[An] excellent, acutely observed book
It is hard to find fault in such a spectacular book, which deftly weaves personal narratives with grand geopolitical tensions to produce a compelling read ... a real tour de force of book-length reporting.
It is ... [the] passages - so charged with personality whilst remaining politically astute that make Walkers prose so compelling to read. He takes the singular melody we trumpet about Russia in the West and adds harmony, dynamics, colour and context. Read this book and you will have a more nuanced understanding of the dissonant symphonies emanating from the east.
lively and engrossing
a superb book
The Long Hangover thankfully does not fixate on the character of Putin. Instead, it focuses on the social conditions that he taps into (and manipulates). The book is girded by Walker's vivid reporting from every corner of the country - far more valuable than armchair analyzing. It also refrains from offering any easy or sweeping answers.
The sheer geographical spread of [the] examples indicates that this a book based on a massive amount of meticulous, on-the-ground reporting ... the range of voices in the book is impressive ... Nuanced accounts of what is happening in Russia are sorely needed, so The Long Hangover hould be read far and wide.
The prose is often vivid and written in accessible journalistic style ... the author uses his interviews to great advantage and their scope brings to light many diverse views.
Thorough, to the point, occasionally melancholic, yet exceedingly readable, Walker has herein captured all the inflammatory essence of modern day Russia, by way of re-telling what ought to have been told many, many years ago ... The Long Hangover may well be the best book I've read on modern-day Russia in years.
A brilliant book
The Long Hangover is thoughtful, brave, and full of insight. Anyone who wants to understand Russia now needs to read it.
The strength of the book lies in what Walker as a journalist does best: bringing the characters and their stories alive for the reader ... The book can be wholeheartedly recommended for both specialists and readers wanting a better understanding of today's Russia and Russians.
The heroes of our age of postmodern myth are the investigative reporters. Shaun Walker has not only done the hard and necessary work of reporting from Russia and Ukraine, he has also reflected, with remarkable historical and literary sensibility, on what it means when a great power gives up on its own future and decides instead to market its past.
In this skillful and vivid book, Shaun Walker allows us to understand the region's current affairs through ordinary and extraordinary people's experience of an un-dealt with past.
This book has a very Russian feel to it. As with the best works of Russian literature, stories of ordinary people fold into the bigger picture. The characters cry, laugh, drink, fight, mourn, and celebrate all at once. Fear is mixed with hope, sorrow with pride, and things rarely end well. This is a deep, emotionally charged, and enthralling book that leaves a sad and bitter aftertaste.
Intelligent and ambitious, Walker's book succeeds in providing insight into the recent history of a nation at the center of world attention.
Walker provides informative analysis and lively interviews with a gallery of 'winners' and (mainly) 'losers' from the fall-out of the collapse of Stalinism and the restoration of capitalism.

Notă biografică

Shaun Walker is the Moscow correspondent for The Guardian. He studied Russian and Soviet history at Oxford University, and has worked as a journalist in Moscow for more than a decade. Previously, he was Moscow Correspondent for the Independent.