The Kremlin is the heart of the Russian state, its very name a byword for enduring power. From Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin, generations of Russian leaders have sought to use the Kremlin to legitimize their vision of statehood. To this day, its red stars and golden crosses blazing side by side, the Kremlin fulfills a centuries-old role: linking the country’s present to its distant past and proclaiming the eternal continuity of the Russian state.
Drawing on a dazzling array of sources from unseen archives and rare collections, renowned historian Catherine Merridale traces the full history of this enigmatic compound of palaces and cathedrals, whose blood-red walls have witnessed more than eight hundred years of political drama and extraordinary violence. And with the Kremlin as a unique lens, Red Fortress brings into focus the evolution of Russia’s culture and the meaning of its politics.