Sir Rodric Braithwaite had already served as a diplomat in Moscow before becoming the British Ambassador there at the end of the 1980s. In the Foreign and Commonwealth Office there is a well-known expression – ‘to go native’ – used in connection with those of its own employees (as well as journalists and intelligence officers) who have so fallen in love with the country where they are stationed that they then find it very difficult to distinguish between the interests of that country and the interests of their own.
Braithwaite is a classic example of this phenomenon. During his many years in Moscow he developed a love of the USSR/Russia so great that it can be felt in every chapter of this book. On the one hand he wants to tell us how well the Soviet people