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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

Author: Walker Shaun
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780190659240
Cover: Hardback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2018

List of Maps

Maps of Soviet Union

Map of Russia


Part 1: Curating the Past

Chapter One: A first-tier nation

Chapter Two: The sacred war

Chapter Three: Chechnya: the deal

Chapter Four: Kolyma: the end of the earth

Part 2: Curating the Present

Chapter Five: The Olympic dream

Chapter Six: Ukraine is not dead yet

Chapter Seven: The Crimea gambit

Chapter Eight: The Crimean Tatars

Chapter Nine: Russian Crimea

Part 3: The Past Becomes the Present

Chapter Ten: Donbass: the spiral

Chapter Eleven: War

Part 4: The Past in the Future

Chapter Twelve: After the war


Author's Note




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.

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