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The outgoing Moscow correspondent for the Guardian, Shaun Walker, in conversation with BBC journalist Lucy Ash about his new book, 'The Long Hangover: Putin's New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past'.
'The Long Hangover: Putin's New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past' transports readers from far eastern Siberia to Moscow and Crimea in a series of elegantly written chapters. The book offers a powerful new explanation of why Putin succeeded in reviving Russia from the wreckage of the 1990s. It shows how the memorisation of World War II in all aspects of Russian life has helped Putin stitch the country back together. It also offers an incisive account of the war in East Ukraine.
Praise for The Long Hangover:
"The Long Hangover is thoughtful, brave, and full of insight. Anyone who wants to understand Russia now needs to read it." - John Simpson, BBC News
"The heroes of our age of postmodern myth are the investigative reporters. Shaun Walker has not only done the hard and necessary work of reporting from Russia and Ukraine, he has also reflected, with remarkable historical and literary sensibility, on what it means when a great power gives up on its own future and decides instead to market its past." - Timothy Snyder, the Richard C. Levin Professor of History, Yale University, and author of On Tyranny and Bloodlands
"In this skillful and vivid book, Shaun Walker allows us to understand the region's current affairs through ordinary and extraordinary people's experience of an un-dealt with past." - Peter Pomerantsev, author of Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible
"This book has a very Russian feel to it. As with the best works of Russian literature, stories of ordinary people fold into the bigger picture. The characters cry, laugh, drink, fight, mourn, and celebrate all at once. Fear is mixed with hope, sorrow with pride, and things rarely end well. This is a deep, emotionally charged, and enthralling book that leaves a sad and bitter aftertaste." - Elena Racheva, Novaya Gazeta
"Intelligent and ambitious, Walker's book succeeds in providing insight into the recent history of a nation at the center of world attention." - Publisher's Weekly
Shaun Walker is the outgoing Moscow correspondent for The Guardian. He studied Russian and Soviet history at Oxford University, and has worked as a journalist in Moscow for more than a decade. Previously, he was Moscow Correspondent for the Independent.
Lucy Ash is an awarding-winning broadcast journalist with more than 20 years’ experience as a BBC correspondent, presenter and senior producer. Her most recent work includes: Ukraine's Frontline Bakery (Radio 4, World Service and BBC World TV) a rdio documentary and film about a new bakery in the town of Marinka, Eastern Ukraine, which is bringing some comfort and sustenance to the local people amidst the trauma of war; The Red and the White (BBC World Service, BBC Russian) a three part radio series on the Allied Intervention in North Russia at the end of WWI; Russia's Exit Dilemma (Radio 3, World Service) in which Ash meets emigres, exiles and staunch remainers in London and Berlin, Moscow and St Petersburg to weigh up the prospects for the young and ambitious in today's Russia. Other works by Lucy Ash includes Putin's Park, Rebooting Rural Russia and Extreme Selfies - Russian Style, amongst many others. Ash's freelance work outside of the BBC, includes the Guardian, The Times, and The Daily Telegraph. A half hour film When the West Invaded Russia, by Lucy Ash is due to be broadcast in March 2018.