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Russia: A 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild Eastby Martin Sixsmith
Synopses & Reviews
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Judi Dench: the heartbreaking true story of an Irishwoman and the secret she kept for 50 years
When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a fallen woman.” Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Philomenas son was trying to find her. Renamed Michael Hess, he had become a leading lawyer in the first Bush administration, and he struggled to hide secrets that would jeopardize his career in the Republican Party and endanger his quest to find his mother.
A gripping exposé told with novelistic intrigue, Philomena pulls back the curtain on the role of the Catholic Church in forced adoptions and on the love between a mother and son who endured a lifelong separation.
"Twenty years after the U.S.S.R.'s collapse, Russia remains a world-class power, and former BBC Moscow correspondent Sixsmith (Putin's Oil: The Yukos Affair and the Struggle for Russia) delivers a thoroughly satisfying history. He reaches the 20th century well before the text's one-third point, but skillfully summarizes the semilegendary ninth century merging of Slav and Viking tribes to form the 'Rus' people. Two centuries of Mongol rule after 1200 isolated the country from Renaissance cultural values, but recovery under the Romanov Tsars (1612 — 1917) produced the world's largest empire, a rich culture, and a stubbornly autocratic government that persists despite a reforming czar (Peter the Great), the Enlightenment (Catherine the Great), and two revolutions (1917, 1991). Sixsmith interrupts his story to visit historical sites and speak to Russians about their past, a tactic that may stir readers to do the same. A lively, opinionated narrative." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Combining in-depth research with his personal experiences as the BBC Moscow correspondent for almost twenty years, Sixsmith tells Russia's full and fascinating story, from its foundation in the last years of the tenth century to the first years of the twenty-first, skillfully tracing the conundrums of modern Russia to their roots in its troubled past.
Covering politics, music, literature and art, he explores the myths Russians have created from their history. Marking the twentieth anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complex political landscape of Russia and its unique place in the modern world.
About the Author
Martin Sixsmith is the author of Moscow Coup: The Death of the Soviet System, The Litvinenko file: The True Story of a Death Foretold, and two novels. Educated at Harvard, Oxford, and the Sorbonne, he was the BBC Moscow correspondent for many years.
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