A Memoir of Misadventures in Moscow


Michael Idov is an award winning journalist, novelist and screenwriter. From 2006 to 2012 he was a contributing editor at New York magazine where he won three National Magazine Awards for his journalism. From 2012 to 2014 he edited GQ Russia. He’s the author of Ground Up published in 2002. His new book is Dressed Up for a Riot: Misadventures in Putin’s Moscow published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.


Pavement, “Trigger Cut / Wounded Kite at: 17,” Slanted and Enchanted, 1992.

The Ethics of Soviet Journalism

Guest: Natalia Roudakova on Losing Pravda: Ethics and the Press in Post-Truth Russia published by Cambridge University Press.


The Russian Propaganda Machine

Guest: Alexey Kovalev on Russian propaganda.

Wading Through RuNet

Guest: Kevin Rothrock on the politics and pleasures of RuNet.


The Soviet Era of Television



Christine Evans is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research interests include Modern Eurasian mass culture and communications and play, leisure, and consumption. She’s the author of Between Truth and Time: A History of Soviet Central Television published by Yale University Press.

Watch some Soviet TV!

KVN Final, 1964

Vremya news broadcast, 1977

Chto? Gde? Kogda? (What? Where? When?), 1982


Dramarama, “70s Tv,” Stuck in Wonderamaland, 1989.


The State of Russia

Guest: Masha Lipman on the current state of Russian politics.


Politkovskaya Ten Years On

It’s been ten years since an assassin put four bullets in Anna Politkovskaya—three in her chest, one in her head, the hallmark of a contract hit. And what can be said on this macabre anniversary?

Love, Sex, and Porn in Russia



Natalia Antonova is a pundit, playwright and sometime journalist living in Russia. You can read her blog where she comments a wide variety of topics, including sex, at Her most recent article is “Russia’s Porn Stars Aren’t Just Hot, They’re Also Ostracised And Exploited” on Open Democracy.


Prince and the Revolution, “Darling Nikki,” Purple Rain, 1984.

Western Journalism and the Ukraine Crisis



Keith Gessen, journalist, translator, and writer. He’s one of the founders of N+1 Magazine and the translator of Kirill Medvedev’s It’s No Good: Poems / Essays /Actions. His most recent article is “Western Journalists in Ukraine” part of N+1’s special symposium on Ukraine.

There are a few texts mentioned in the interview. Here they are for those interested:

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