My new photo book, "We Are Building Capitalism! Moscow in Transition 1992-1997" was published by Glagoslav Publications on 31 March 2019. 
For more information about the book and how to purchase a copy, please click on the front cover (below).
What others say ...
"This fascinating new book will appeal to both scholars and general readers. Combining a keen eye for detail with a sensitive and humanistic touch, Robert Stephenson’s original photographs marvellously capture the unexpected contradictions of the early post-communist 'transition' period in Moscow in the 1990s. Complemented by an insightful and witty narrative, these unique images portray the everyday effects of the tumultuous changes and reforms of the 1990s. Through changing consumer cultures, transportation, architecture, religion, folk life, the arts, and of course politics, Stephenson takes the reader on a whirlwind tour that sheds new light on the city during a turbulent period in recent Russian history." 
Prof. Sarah D. Phillips, Director, Russian & East European Institute, Indiana University​​​​​​​
"This evocative collection of photographs is accompanied by a clear and sensible text. It vividly describes how Moscow made a surprisingly peaceful transition from Soviet communism to a flawed capitalism which greatly increased the prosperity of of its ordinary citizens, but left many of them deeply dissatisfied with the huge political, economic, social and personal changes that had been imposed on them with such suddenness."          
Sir Rodric Braithwaite, British Ambassador in Moscow 1988-1992
"The 1990s is the most interesting period in Moscow’s history. The author himself breathed Moscow’s air and observed with bright eyes the everyday life of Muscovites. Transition and continuity meet in his pictures, as the old urban space adapts to the new era. Monuments are being dumped, street names changed and buildings demolished. Stephenson shows with his sensitive pictures how the Muscovites were once again taking over their city. Each of Stephenson’s images glows with sensitivity and an extraordinary empathetic attitude of the city and its inhabitants at different times of the year and with great affection. For city researchers, travelers and urbanists, Stephenson's book sends a message of hope: every city is vibrant and strong when its residents feel it. The book is modern pictorial cultural history at its best!"  
Prof. Laura Kolbe, Professor of European History, University of Helsinki.
“Robert Stephenson’s captivating panorama of Moscow in the 1990s ... hymns a lost decade which, in turn, was swept away by the dynamic, often brutal, capitalism of the era which began in 2000 with Vladimir Putin becoming Russian President ... [The book] is divided into eleven sections embracing ‘The Shadow of the Past’, ‘Inflation, Speculation and Accumulation’, ‘Religious Resurgence’, ‘Out with the Old and In with the New’, ’The View from the Street’, and more. Each section is provided with an informative, often witty, introduction, and the images seek to capture the effect of the changes to daily life ... Anyone who lived in Moscow during those years will enjoy this compendium. It will bring back many memories of the huge changes that hit the Russian capital and, indeed, disoriented many locals. A world which has now vanished.”
Martin McCauley, formerly Senior Lecturer in Politics and Chair of the Social Sciences Department at University College, London in East-West Review, Journal of the Great Britain-Russia Society, ISSN 1759-863X Vol. 18, no. 2 ISSUE 51 Autumn 2019.
"Stephenson captured all of the strange and contradictory images of Moscow in the 1990s: an Orthodox priest addressing passersby with a loudspeaker, a poster for a new film depicting the lives of sexual minorities in the U.S.S.R., a demonstration against capitalism and rally of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) supporters, casinos and street musicians, and a pile of banana peels overflowing a rubbish — a stark illustration of how quickly these once rare commodities were purchased and eaten on the spot. Particularly striking are seeing how the old Soviet symbols were replaced by advertisements of products promising the wonders of the capitalist world: a giant Coca-Cola bottle in the GUM department store or a banner advertising the sale of a penthouse above march in support of a return to the Soviet Union. In Russia, the period of the 1990s period is covered with a haze of exaggerations and innuendo. The period is proclaimed as the beginning of democracy or not quite the end of communism. Stephenson’s book allows readers to look at this period through the eyes of a foreigner who was neutral and open to all the unusual and contradictory images and events around him ... This book is an excellent contribution to a much-needed analysis of this time in recent history."
Alexandra Sukhoveeva, "The Moscow Times" - 'The Long Read', 18 January 2020.
"In this age of smartphones, Instagram, dashcams and drones, we count on a rich supply of images of
the world around us, whether we are tourists checking out a hotel’s environs on Google Streetview
before booking, or Bellingcat searching Russian soldiers’ Vkontakte pages for pictures to geolocate
deployments in the Donbas. We can easily forget how new this visual abundance really is ... a tremendously valuable additional source, as is demonstrated by this collection of photographs from Moscow in the midst of the 'likhie' 1990s – ‘dashing’, ‘wild’ or roaring,’ depending on choice or prejudice. This was a Moscow by turns tawdry and elegant, miserable and modernising, drab and violent ... As someone who still remember the 1990s with a complex mix of nostalgia, horror and depression, this was a poignant reminder. As a scholar, though, I think this is a tremendously useful visual source, illustrating and illuminating everything from the reconstruction of the city to the reshaping of its people, economy and culture, and greatly to be welcomed."
Mark Galeotti, "In Moscow's Shadows", February 2020.


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