A memoir of revolution, reaction, and Russian men's fashion
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.
About the Author
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.