Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Red Fortress

Red Fortress

History and Illusion in the Kremlin

Catherine Merridale



Trade Paperback

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.


Praise for Red Fortress

“Simply superb...A brilliant and unputdownable history of Russia itself.” —Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Telegraph (UK)

“Magnificent...Merridale's extraordinary history of the red fortress mixes politics, history, architecture, and biography to lay bare the secret heart of Russia's history....A delight to read.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A splendidly rich portrait of an exotic and puzzling redoubt...Vivid and meticulous...Merridale is a historian by training, but she has a detective's nose and a novelist's way with words.” —The Economist

“One of the best popular histories of Russia in any language...Merridale's stories flow naturally, and she has a superb eye for detail and the telling fact....The Kremlin becomes in her hands the narrative thread that knits together the disjointed story of Russia and the Russians.” —The Times Literary Supplement (UK)

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Catherine Merridale

Catherine Merridale is the author of the critically acclaimed Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939–1945, and Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia. A professor of contemporary history at Queen Mary University of London, she has also written for The Guardian, the Literary Review, and the London Review of Books, and contributes regularly to broadcasts on BBC radio. She lives in Oxfordshire, England.

Catherine Merridale

From the Publisher


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