Moscow Calling: Memoirs of a Foreign Correspondent
Birlinn 368pp £17.99
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. It is not only about Russia. He spent seven years as BBC Europe correspondent based in Brussels, but it is Russia with which he is most emotionally and intellectually engaged. He has lived in the country under different regimes (the Brezhnev era, perestroika, the 1990s under Yeltsin and the Putin presidency), as well as in various capacities – from student to publishing house translator, to the Sunday Times man in Moscow and, subsequently, BBC Russia correspondent.