Red Fortress: The Secret Heart of Russia's History –

Red Fortress: The Secret Heart of Russia's History The extraordinary story of the Kremlin, from prize winning author and historian Catherine MerridaleBoth 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 authenticityCatherine Merridale s exceptional new 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 Kremlin is one of the very few buildings in the world which still keeps its original, late medieval function as a palace, built to intimidate the ruler s subjects and to frighten foreign emissaries Red Fortress brilliantly conveys this sense of the Kremlin as a stage set, nearly as potent under Vladimir Putin as it was under earlier, far baleful inhabitants

10 thoughts on “Red Fortress: The Secret Heart of Russia's History

  1. Dimitri Dimitri says:

    Sometimes we gaze out over the red brick walls at pivotal moments taking shape across the vast Russian landscape sometimes we look down upon the Moskva but most of the time we re on the inside, watching buildings rise and crumble as Byzantine robes give way to red banners.Neither fish nor fowl, it s easier to say what this book is not It s not a history of Russia no

  2. Mary Mary says:

    Reading the Red Fortress is like reading a mini history of the various rulers of Russia I was hoping for interesting architectural details and a full disclosure of all the tricks they use to keep Lenin looking fresh but no such luck Merridale does start from the beginning with invading hordes and eventually moving on to strong leaders consolidating power She also spends

  3. Emily Emily says:

    3.5 stars This was a book that I m glad I read but really felt like a slog So much detail that it was overwhelming I m impressed at the research that went into this, but for a general audience book it felt too academic for me Also, it could really use some timelines and maybe a brief cast of characters I think that would ve increased my understanding and ability to keep tra

  4. Enrique Enrique says:

    I always thought of the Kremlin as an elegant and stately government building in the French Imperial style with Byzantine and Russian motifs surrounded by an imposing red wall in front of the enormous Red Square forever flanked by St Basil s Cathedral which, in my humble opinion, is like an Arabian fairy tale nightmare induced by really bad shrooms In political terms, I believe

  5. Mandy Mandy says:

    The Kremlin is one of the most famous landmarks in the world With this sentence Catherine Merridale opens her fascinating and in depth study of this symbolic and instantly recognisable complex of ancient and modern buildings, which in so many ways is the very incarnation of the Russian state There is no reliable record of the Kremlin s beginnings, although there is a mention of a p

  6. Antenna Antenna says:

    For enthusiasm and research, Catherine Merridale deserves five stars, but despite having visited Moscow both before and after the collapse of Communism, and been inside the Kremlin, I found this history hard going.The opening chapters seem padded out, since there is little to say about the rural backwater of Moscow and the wooden fortification of the initial Kremlin when Kiev was the c

  7. Ed Ed says:

    A fantastic introduction to the broad sweep of Russian history, through the lens of the pretty ill treated Kremlin complex Ms Merridale s depth of research is accompanied by a great turn of phrase and the ability to keep the reader interested through a sometimes dizzying whirl of dynastic change I particularly enjoyed the coverage of the grim days of the Stalin purges, and the role of the

  8. Barbara Barbara says:

    Another book where you want to start re reading it the minute you ve finished This biography of the Kremlin provides a history of how Russia has re invented itself over and over again across the centuries The individuals in charge, who inflicted such suffering on the Russian people, are brought vividly to life and the firebird nature of the site itself is described in fascinating detail, somet

  9. Katie Katie says:

    This book tells the story of Russia through the history of the Kremlin And I mean that literally the buildings This talks about who built them, what happened to them, how their use has changed Merridal knows a whole lot about architecture and art, and uses this to then explain how those things fit into historical patterns including right up to the present day, which is a frankly very gutsy move.Th

  10. Julian Douglass Julian Douglass says:

    Very detailed history of the Kremlin, spanning basically a millennium of Russian History Ms Merridale really did her homework while writing this book as it was full of information However, being so full of information can be a blessing and a curse With each chapter being on average 30 pages, the chapters can really drag out especially when she rambles on about art and the way a building looks I also t

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