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Red Fortress: The Secret Heart of Russia's History [Kindle Edition]

Catherine Merridale

Kindle-Preis: EUR 13,38 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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Magnificent ... [a] a superbly written book ... Merridale's idea was to use the Kremlin like a backdrop to an opera - a screen on which to project scenes from Russia's violent and dramatic history. That way she tells the fortress's story without lapsing into architectural didacticism or guidebook prose, and it works wonderfully (George Walden Telegraph)

This simply superb chronicle of the Kremlin is really a brilliant and unputdownable history of Russia itself from the early Tsars via Lenin and Stalin to Putin; anyone who wants to understand Russia today will not only learn a lot but will enjoy every page ... wonderful (Simon Sebag Montefiore Telegraph)

[Merridale] combines impeccable scholarship with a deep feeling for the humanity of the people she writes about. Her style is accurate, spare, direct and warm-hearted, about as far from the academy as you can get ... [Red Fortress] is a brilliant meditation on Russian history and the myths with which the Russians have sought to console themselves (Rodric Braithwaite Guardian)

Addictively clever history ... Merridale whisks us through a series of terrific melodramas (Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

A zingy, razor-keen history of the Kremlin (Ian Thomson Spectator BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

Merridale captures very well the suffocating atmosphere of those overheated corridors, where every room was bugged and mere proximity to power was often a death sentence ... she writes superbly. She has a gift for the tart insight ... and an eye for the telling anecdote (Tony Brenton The Times)

Exhilarating ... Both in its modernist sense of "time in flux" and in its style, Red Fortress is at the furthest possible remove from Soviet schoolroom sermons about "the period of feudal atomization" and the rise of the centralizing state ... This is a book of detail and imagination ... a neohistorical account of the Russian past ... Red Fortress made me remember the open-mouthed delight I took when, hardly old enough to know where Russia was, I studied the émigré artist Boris Artsybashev's elegant, aetiolated portraits of medieval Russian princes (Catriona Kelly Guardian)

Red Fortress is a tour de force, as readable as it is extensively researched ... It never flags through nearly 10 centuries of Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet history ... [Merridale] is both mythbuster and pilgrim, captivated by her subject even while turning an eye of scholarly detachment to it (Virginia Rounding Financial Times)

One of the best popular histories of Russia in any language (Times Literary Supplement)

Immensely readable ... Merridale recounts [the Kremlin's] eventful history with great skill and tremendous narrative verve (Ian Critchley Sunday Times)

Merridale is a historian by training, but she has a detective's nose and a novelist's way with words (Economist)

As with many important books, the reader will wonder why nothing like Catherine Merridale's work ... has been written before ... Merridale has succeeded in stripping off the veneer... She has the skills to get guardians of secret places talking and to negotiate access with Russian archivists, and thus penetrate the inner workings of the Kremlin. At the same time, she has a feeling for the site that brings dry archaeological and architectural facts to life: few writers can write the biography of a city or a citadel ... The Kremlin's history is likely to be frozen for decades to come. This unique and stunningly well-illustrated book is going to be a definitive study for just as long (Donald Rayfield Literary Review)

Catherine Merridale's sparkling new book shows that it is people who dominate architecture (BBC History Magazine)

As usual, [Merridale's] engaging writing style combines a keen eye for detail with a human touch (Times Higher Education)

[A] superb history of the Kremlin ... pages of lucid prose (Irish Times)



The extraordinary story of the Kremlin - from prize-winning author and historian Catherine Merridale

Both 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; a shorthand for a certain kind of secretive power, but also the heart of a specific Russian authenticity. Catherine Merridale's exceptional 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 many inhabitants of the Kremlin have continually reshaped it to accord with shifting ideological needs, with buildings conjured up or demolished to conform with the current ruler's social, spiritual, military or regal priorities. In the process, all have claimed to be the heirs of Russia's great historic destiny.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 21863 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 490 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0141032359
  • Verlag: Penguin (3. Oktober 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00CBO0BI4
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #179.371 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  35 Rezensionen
51 von 54 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Disappointed 31. Dezember 2013
Von Thomas Reiter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I bought this book after reading several glowing reviews. I live in Moscow very near the Kremlin, so expected to learn many interesting facts about the place.

Unfortunately, in this I was disappointed. My main gripes:

1) at least in the kindle version, there are virtually no maps or pictures (other than on illegible map of the kremlin at the beginning). At least half the book (more on that later) consists of descriptions of the features, locations, and appearance of the Kremlin and many of the buildings constructed within it, but all of that is left to our imagination, and there are no pictures, drawings, etc. to illustrate what the author is talking about. It is possible that the print version has these illustrations, and if so, this criticism would not apply to it.

2) In addition to a history of the Kremlin, the book presents a rather episodic and uneven history of Russia. While this is unavoidable to a certain extent, much of this content really has nothing to do with the Kremlin and seems to have been inserted as a sort of primer on Russian history, in which role it falls short. In my view, much of this material should have either been excluded altogether or expanded to be more comprehensive.

3) I walk through Red Square on an almost daily basis, but after reading this book don't feel that I have any better understanding of the various buildings on the square. What's the story behind the construction of GUM, the massive department store opposite the Kremlin on Red Square? Not addressed... Similarly, what renovations have been done to the various towers over the centuries, and what specific role have they played, what significant events have occurred in them? Addressed, sort of, but not in a very user-friendly or comprehensive way. Maybe I was expecting something more like a tour guide on steroids, but this book is not it.

4) a good portion of the book is dedicated to arcane religious issues and disputes. While I fully expected this, and indeed it is pretty much unavoidable when writing a history of the Kremlin, I found these sections extremely tedious. This is not a criticism of the author--you can only make some issues so interesting--but I did want to point it out to other potential readers.

To be fair, this is not a bad book as long as people come into it with the right expectations , so for that reason I've tried to be pretty specific about why I didn't care much for it, so that other readers can make their own judgments.
31 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Red Fortress is a detailed popular history of Moscow's famous Kremlin by an expert on Russia 24. Dezember 2013
Von C. M Mills - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"Kremlin" is the Red Fortress sitting on the Moscow River. For over eight hundred years the citadel has stood at the very heart of Russian's lengthy and bloody history of ruthless terror, persecution and dictatorship. The Kremlin has seen rulers come and go from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, the Romanov Tsars (the first Romanov ruler began to rule Russia in 1613;l the dynasty lasted until the murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his entire family at the hand of the Bolsheviks in 1918). The most interesting part of the book, to this reviewer, was the last part of the long book in which the author deals with the rule of Stalin, Khruschev, Andropov, and the last Soviet ruler Gorbachev. She also has important points to make about Boris Yeltsin and his corrupt government and the autocratic present day rule of Putin.
Dr. Catherine Merridale is a British Scholar who has written extensively on Russia. I have read her earlier book "Ivan's War" concerning Soviet troops in World War II which I found of great historical interest. This interest led me to this new volume. It is presented in a dry and academic style. Many pages are devoted to the various churches, cathedrals, palaces and meeting rooms included within the wide and forbidding Kremlin walls. Much of this material will be new to Western readers with many finding the information to be dull and quickly forgotten!
To tell the story of the Kremlin is to tell the story of Russia that enigma wrapped inside a mystery. The book though dry contains valuable material for anyone interested in Russia, the Kremlin and the leaders of this large and important country.
26 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "The Kremlin is a place where history is concentrated." 15. November 2013
Von Amelia Gremelspacher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Having spent my share of time under my school desk waiting for the powers of the Kremlin to send an atomic bomb, I have a deep seated curiosity for the stories of the Red Fortress. "The Kremlin is one of the most famous structures in the world." It has ever been a place designed to suggest historically rooted power. This book traces its inception in the earliest days of the rude, swampy Moscow to the present time. It is a landmark that has endured multiple incarnations, burning almost to the ground more than once. Lasting monuments have been wrecked to make room for other buildings fated to fall. This book traces both the structure of the Kremlin and the historic context of its changing legend.

The book has a slow start with the discussion of early Russia and it's swiftly changing rulers. The list of buildings and the sweep of change becomes a blur of names and construction. Somewhere around the emergence of the early Tsars, the story takes a more engaging shape and pulls the reader into the romance of a fortress and its people. I admit the book became truly bewitching to me with the entrance of the Soviets, and ironically their demolition of much its precious history. The stories from behind the scenes of Stalin's windswept end granite fort make for a clear dissertation on the intersection of the image and the building. This is the beginning of era of the iron tipped parades of May Day projected to the Western World.

This book has undertaken a huge task with the vagaries of a vast history and its mythologies. This book is intricate in its record of the entwining of the Kremlin and its people. In its turn, it beguiles the reader and delivers an encompassing history with graceful commentary and an author's clear affection for her subject. Past the collapse of the Soviet, Russia remains a source of foreign mystique, and its star still rest in the Red Fortress.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Red Fortress 1. März 2014
Von T. Kunikov - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Catherine Merridale's 'Red Fortress' reads like a mediocre attempt at pop history. Unlike some historians who score a win with their rehashing of well known ideas, facts, and histories that's made accessible to a public eager for scraps of information historians find mundane and banal, 'Red Fortress' seems to be a failure on both counts. Merridale provides just enough information to make this text a chore for the average reader while avoiding any type of original conclusions or arguments. The usual suspects have their fair share of space devoted to them (Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, etc.) and while the Kremlin continually features as either the main 'player' or in the background of the narrative, it does so to the detriment of the story being told. Like those top-down histories that concentrate on kings and queens, politicians and diplomats, military commanders and revolutionaries, 'Red Fortress' ignores the periphery to concentrate on the center and adds little to nothing to the history of Russia while managing to omit much that made Russia what it was and is. As an introduction to Russian history this is a mediocre effort and unfortunately I can't imagine it being a useful fit for any other role.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Good overview of the Kremlin 25. Dezember 2013
Von XV Corps - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I've recently been reading more Russian History and this book fell right in with that.
It covers the history of the Kremlin and tells its story quite well. Dr. Merridale writes good history based on research. This book is like a mini-history of Russia and covers ages of time. She doesn’t let anyone off the hook be that person Stalin or Ivan IV or Putin. Highly recommend for anyone with a curiosity about Moscow.
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