Preface to the English Edition Part One: THE WAR FOR SPACE Sovereign Territory...with No Roads The Smoke of the Fatherland Sacred Ice Crimea as a Territory of the Subconscious Drum Solo Jihad in Donetsk Global Biryulyovo Seduced by Geopolitics Profession: Invader Noughts and Crosses The War with Pokemon Kremlin Firewall A Sovereignty Full of Holes Part Two: THE WAR FOR SYMBOLS The State's Game Reserve The Elite Avenue...to Death An Ode to Shuvalov's Dogs Missile Mania Tank Invasion Purveyors of Threats Churchill Dreamt It All Up A Racketeer with Rockets The Torch Procession Olympic Schizophrenia The Thugs' Game The Sovereign from the Back-Streets of St Petersburg Putinism and Questions of Linguistics War of the Avatars Part Three: THE WAR FOR THE BODY Punitive Hygiene The King's Body The Condom as a Sign of Protest The Protocols of the Elders of Sodom Test for Homophobia The 'Miss Prison' Contest Breaking 'The Silence of the Lambs' The Politics of the Female Body A 4-by-4 as a Teaching Aid A Russian Potlatch A Requiem for Roquefort The Land of Abandoned Children The Amputation of Conscience The Fiasco of 'Operation Sochi' Part Four: THE WAR FOR MEMORY Hysterical Revisionism The Holiday of 5 March The Oblomov and the Stoltz of Soviet Power A Bear of a Man Maidan in Moscow A Holiday without Tears Waltz of the Urals Chekists The Return of the Ghosts Tyrants Destroyed Russian Resentment The Flower Revolution Who's Afraid of Svetlana Alexievich? The Private Nuremberg of Denis Karagodin The Battle at the River Iset Constitution Day Glossary and List of Abbreviations Notes
Sergei Medvedev is Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
'This is the best treatise on contemporary Russia since John Reed's pamphlet that shook the world one hundred years ago. Moving from the endangered Arctic to the occupied Crimea and from the politics of the body to memory wars, Medvedev reveals a political machine based on vanity, manipulation and fear of its own people. Broad-ranging in scope and mind-blowing in details, this book is a must for everyone who is concerned about Russia's present and future.' Alexander Etkind, author of Internal Colonization: Russia's Imperial Experience 'Is Putin's regime a Russian peculiarity or is it simply the Russian version of a global trend? Was it inevitable or was it accidental? If you are worried by these questions, read this passionately analytical book.' Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia 'While there are many books about President Vladimir Putin's Russia, there are few that nail its realities with the same combination of academic precision, acerbic wit and anger as this. Well-researched analysis might be expected of a professor of Moscow's Higher School of Economics, but not necessarily the humour and passion that run through the striking work.' The Financial Times 'Medvedev's portrait of Russia is brilliant, wry and minutely observed -- and, like its title, often bitterly ironic.' Times Literary Supplement 'acerbic and splendidly argumentative... dazzling.' New Internationalist "As a portrait of the cultural moment and debunking of the Kremlin's talking points, [this] book is brilliant." Los Angeles Review of Books "A more astute, knowledgeable and eloquent guide is hard to imagine. Steeped in Russian culture and history, Mr. Medvedev is witty and sardonic in the laughter-through-tears (smekh skvoz slyozy) tradition of Russian literature. He draws on political sociology, linguistics and social psychology, yet his prose, even in translation, is sparkling." The Wall Street Journal "Professor Medvedev's analyses will interest scholars of Russia, comparativists and international relations scholars, policy specialists, and laypersons." Terrorism and Political Violence