Moscow Calling

Memoirs of a Foreign Correspondent

By Angus Roxburgh

Format: Multiple Formats

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

Product Description


In the course of the past 45 years, Angus Roxburgh has translated Tolstoy, met four successive Russian presidents and been jinxed by a Siberian shaman. He has come under fire in war zones and been arrested by Chechen thugs. During the Cold War he was wooed by the KGB, who then decided he would make a lousy spy and expelled him from the country. 

In Moscow Calling Roxburgh presents his Russia - not the Russia of news reports, but a quirky, crazy, exasperating, beautiful, tumultuous world that in four decades has changed completely, and yet in some ways not at all. From the dark, fearful days of communism and his adventures as a correspondent covering the Soviet Union's collapse into chaos, to his frustrating work as a media consultant to Putin's Kremlin, his memoir offers a unique, fascinating and at times hilarious insight into a country that today, more than ever, is of global political significance.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 14 Sep 2017
SKU 9781780274928-grouped
Number of Pages 368

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Press Reviews

'A self-critical author writing his memoirs sounds like a contradiction in terms. Angus Roxburgh, though, has produced a book that illuminates discerningly the dramatic changes that have occurred in Russia over the past 40 years, many of which he witnessed at first hand. His account is often amusing, sometimes grim (when he recalls his experience reporting wars in Chechnya and Afghanistan), but consistently perceptive' 

'These memoirs show us the understanding, empathy and the compassion that underpinned the knowledge and authority of Roxburgh's reporting. A gripping story, scintillatingly told. Essential reading for any young person thinking of a career in the media. It will have you laughing out loud in places, move you close to tears in others'

'If you want a good, enthralling memoir of the great, raging days of turmoil in Russia and the USSR, as witnessed and recorded by an honest man, this is the one to read' 

'Roxburgh writes beautifully, with a lyricism and descriptive touch beyond ordinary reportage and that any serious novelist would be proud of. Those looking for the memoirs of a foreign correspondent will find them in this book. But what they will find too is an elegy to Russia, by someone deeply etched by its influence and its continuing presence in his life'

'Moscow Calling is at least two books in one - a  memoir if those first years in Moscow, and a wider-focused story about covering one of the twentieth century's biggest stories: the sudden decline and fall of the Soviet Union. The threading together of his Russian friendships and the times they've all lived through give the book its greatest strength'

'Nobody has a better ear for Russia than Angus Roxburgh - a joy to read, often very funny, often profoundly sad, and in both respects a good reflection of the Russian experience'

'If you are looking for the Russia beyond the political cliché then this is the book for you. An intimate and incisive account of a famous journalist's long-term relationship with the country, a relationship as complex and intense as any Russian novel'

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