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Book Title: Russia: A 1,000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East|
The author of the book: Martin Sixsmith
Edition: BBC Digital
Date of issue: May 25th 2011
ISBN 13: 9781446416884
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 334 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.8
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Russia is a country of contradictions: a nation of cultural refinement and artistic originality and yet also a country that rules by 'the iron fist'. In this riveting history, Martin Sixsmith shows how Russia's complex identity has been formed over a thousand years, and how it can help us understand its often baffling behaviour at home and abroad.
Combining in-depth research and interviews with his personal experiences as a former BBC Moscow correspondent, Sixsmith skilfully traces the conundrums of modern Russia to their roots in its troubled past, and explains the nation's seemingly split personality as the result of influences that have divided it for centuries.
A Sunday Times bestseller, Russia is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complex political landscape of this country, and its unique place in the modern world.
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Read information about the authorGeorge Martin Sixsmith, British author and journalist.
Sixsmith joined the BBC in 1980 where he worked as a foreign correspondent, most notably reporting from Moscow during the end of the Cold War. He also reported from Poland during the Solidarity uprising and was the BBC's Washington correspondent during the election and first presidency of Bill Clinton. He was based in Russia for five years, the US for four, Brussels for four and Poland for three.
Sixsmith left the BBC in 1997 to work for the newly elected government of Tony Blair. He became Director of Communications (a civil service post), working first with Harriet Harman and Frank Field, then with Alistair Darling. His next position was as a Director of GEC plc, where he oversaw the rebranding of the company as Marconi plc.
In December 2001, he returned to the Civil Service to join the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions as Director of Communications in time to become embroiled in the second act of the scandal over Jo Moore. Moore was special adviser to the transport secretary Stephen Byers and had been the subject of much public condemnation for suggesting that a controversial announcement should be "buried" during the media coverage of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Sixsmith incurred the displeasure of Downing Street when his email advising Byers and Moore not to bury more bad news was leaked to the press. Number Ten attempted to "resign him", but had later to issue an apology and pay him compensation. Sixsmith was widely expected to write a memoir or autobiography in the wake of his civil service departure, but was gagged by the government Instead, he produced a novel about near-future politics called Spin, published in 2004.
His second novel, I Heard Lenin Laugh, was published in 2005. In 2006 he was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to present a series of programmes on Russian poetry, literature and art.
In 2007 he wrote The Litvinenko File, an examination of the feud between the Kremlin and Russia's émigré oligarchs.
In 2008 Sixsmith worked on two BBC documentaries exploring the legacy of the KGB in today's Russia and also presented a BBC documentary, The Snowy Streets of St. Petersburg, about artists and writers who fled the former Eastern bloc.
In 2009 he wrote The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, about the forcible separation of a mother and child by the nuns of an Irish convent during the 1950s, and the subsequent attempts of the mother and child to contact one another. The book was adapted into the film Philomena, directed by Stephen Frears, starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (as Sixsmith), and written by Coogan and Jeff Pope; it premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was released in the UK on November 1 2013.
In February 2010 Sixsmith wrote Putin's Oil, about Russia's energy wars and their consequences for Moscow and the world.
He worked as an adviser to the BBC political sitcom The Thick of It, and the Oscar-nominated film, In the Loop.
In 2011, he presented Russia: The Wild East, a 50-part history of Russia for BBC Radio 4, the last episode of which was broadcast on 12 August. His book Russia, a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East was published by Random House.
In 2014 Sixsmith will present a 25 part programme about the history of psychology and psychiatry for the BBC radio.
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