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Dressed Up for a Riot

Misadventures in Putin's Moscow

Michael Idov

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Dressed Up for a Riot Download image

ISBN10: 0374538166
ISBN13: 9780374538163

Trade Paperback

288 Pages

$16.00

CA$21.00

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In this crackling memoir, the journalist and novelist Michael Idov recounts the tempestuous years he spent living alongside—and closely observing—the media and cultural elite of Putin’s Russia. After accepting a surprise offer to become the editor in chief of GQ Russia, Idov and his family arrive in a Moscow still seething from a dubious election and the mass anti-Putin rallies that erupted in response. Idov is fascinated by the political turmoil but nonetheless finds himself pulled in unlikely directions. He becomes a tabloid celebrity, acts in a Russian movie with Snoop Dogg, befriends the members of Pussy Riot, punches an anti-Semitic magazine editor on the steps of the Bolshoi Theatre, sells an autobiographical sitcom pilot that is later changed into an anti-American farce, and writes Russia’s top-grossing domestic movie of 2015. Meanwhile, he becomes disillusioned with the splintering opposition to Putin and is briefly attracted to a kind of jaded Putinism lite—until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine thoroughly changes his mind.

In Dressed Up for a Riot, Idov writes openly, sensitively, and stingingly about life in Moscow and his place in a media apparatus that sometimes undermined but more often bolstered a state system defined by cynicism, corruption, and the fanning of fake news. With humor and intelligence, he offers a close-up glimpse of what a declining world power can become.

Reviews

Praise for Dressed Up for a Riot

"Filled . . . with the antics of Muscovite movers and shakers, and offering an unparalleled glimpse into how Russians view themselves and their place on the world stage, Dressed Up for a Riot delivers a fascinating, funny take on Idov’s three quixotic years in modern Moscow."Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


A Rootless Cosmopolitan

My parents, Mark and Yelena Zilberman, who live in the suburbs of Detroit, keep a little portrait of Lenin inside their fridge. It’s made of tiny beads sewn onto a napkin-size cloth and...

About the author

Michael Idov

Michael Idov is an award-winning journalist, a screenwriter, and the author of the novel Ground Up (FSG, 2009). From 2006 to 2012, he was a contributing editor at New York magazine and won three National Magazine Awards for his writing; he edited GQ Russia from 2012 to 2014. Born in 1976 in Riga, Latvia, Idov moved to the United States in 1992 and currently lives in Berlin.

Michael Idov

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