"A riveting trip down the corridors of Soviet deception" - Sunday Telegraph (Five-Star Review)
"Philps has an eye for detail and a heart for those left behind" - The Times
"A compelling and often horrifying tale of moral degradation and occasional heroism superbly told" - Economist
In The Red Hotel: The Untold Story of Stalin's Disinformation War former Daily Telegraph Foreign Editor and Russian expert Alan Philps sets out the way Stalin created his own reality by constraining and muzzling the British and American reporters covering the Eastern front during the war and forcing them to reproduce Kremlin propaganda. War correspondents were both bullied and pampered in a gilded cage of the Metropol Hotel. They enjoyed lavish supplies of caviar and had their choice of young women to employ as translators and to share their beds.
While some of these translators turned journalists into robotic conveyors of Kremlin propaganda, others were brave secret dissenters who whispered to reporters the reality of Soviet life and were punished with sentences in the Gulag. Through the use of British archives and Russian sources, the story of the role of the women of the Metropol Hotel and the foreign reporters they worked with is told for the first time. With a riveting narrative very much in the same wheelhouse as Ben McIntyre’s Agent Sonya this revelatory story will finally lift the lid on Stalin’s operation to muzzle and control what the western allies’ writers and foreign correspondents knew of his regime’s policies to prosecute the war against Hitler’s rampaging armies from June 1941 onwards.