Alexander Leonidovich Myasnikov was born in the city of Leningrad (now – St. Petersburg) on 12 March 1953. After serving in the Armed Forces, he attended Leningrad State University (now – St. Petersburg State University) and graduated in 1979.
He worked as a correspondent for Leningrad newspapers and worked for several all-union periodicals. In 1981, he became a member of the USSR Union of Journalists. During the same years, he wrote scripts for the pop-sci film studio Lennauchfilm. Afterwards, he served as an editor for the major publication Sovetskii Pisatel (Soviet Writer) and as editor-in-chief of the Russian–Finnish joint enterprise Smart, after which he was invited to serve as editor-in-chief of arts programming for the Russian national telecompany Petersburg Channel 5.
Beyond literature, Alexander Myasnikov worked actively and prodigiously as a scriptwriter for popular science films and Russian television. The film ‘Monolog o suschnosti mashin’ (Monologue on the Essence of Machines) was nominated for a state prize.
He is the author and host of several television projects, including the history of language programme Alkhimiya slova (Alchemy of Words) and Avtograf vremeni (Time’s Autograph), dedicated to the mysteries of Russian history. For several years, he hosted his own segment, Alkhimiya vremeni (Alchemy of Time) on a popular daily morning television programme.
Today, he contributes to many television and radio programmes.
His first novel was published with the Sovetskii pisatel (Soviet writer) publishing house in 1986. Today, Alexander Myasnikov is the author of over 30 books. Many of them are not only present in every major library around the world, but also in the libraries of royal families, presidents, premiers, and many other heads of state. The first royal owner of one of his books was the British Queen Elizabeth II, who was gifted a copy of one of his books during her visit to St. Petersburg in 1994. Myasnikov’s books have been awarded to the first prize winners of a number of Russian national contests and competitions, including those held under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation.
He has published a significant number of books on Russian history, including: Khronika chelovechestva: Rossiya (Chronicle of Humankind: Russia; Moscow, 2002), Dostoyanie Rossii (Russian Heritage; St. Petersburg, 2001), Rossiiskaya letopis (The Russian Annals; St. Petersburg, 1998), the six-volume Putevoditel po Russkoi istorii (Guide to Russian History; Moscow, 2014–2018), Vlastiteli otechestva (Leaders of the Motherland; Moscow, 2017), Tainyi kod Peterburga (The Secret Code of St. Petersburg; Moscow, 2012), Tainyi kod Mosvky (The Secret Code of Moscow; Moscow, 2015), Tainyi kod Rossii (The Secret Code of Russia; Moscow, 2017), Aleksandr III (Alexander III; Moscow, 2018), Tainyi kod Russkoi istorii (The Secret Code of Russian History; Moscow, 2019), Istoricheskaya letopis Rossii (The Annals of Russian History; Moscow, 2019), Russkaya istoriya. Kratkaya khronika sobitii (Russian History: A Short Chronicle of Events; Moscow, 2020), and Rossiiskii khronograf (Russian Chronicle; Moscow, 2021), among others.
His books have long since become collectors items, including the bilingual: Moskva. Istoriya goroda (Moscow: History of the City), Sankt-Peterburg: Istoriya goroda (St. Petersburg: History of the City), Istoriya rossiiskogo gosudarstva (The History of Russia), Goroda Zolotogo koltsa (Cities of Russia’s Golden Ring).
He has also penned a number of prose books, including: Polden na ostrove robinsonov (Noon on Robinson Crusoe Island; Leningrad, 1990), Polunochnyi ostrov (Midnight Island; St. Petersburg, 1993), Zhizn.ru, ili v prostranstve russkogo peizazha (Life.ru, or In the Space of the Russian Landscape; Moscow, 2007), Legkii sposob brosit liubit (An Easy Way to Quit Love; Moscow, 2015).
Myasnikov is also the author of several popular science books.
He has been published abroad, including in the UK journal Logos; a number of his stories were also included in an Austrian anthology dedicated to 20th century literature.
His books have sold a total of over 1 million copies.
In addition to his writing, he currently involved in exhibition planning: he is one of the creators of the ‘My History’ exhibition (the Rurik dynasty, the Romanovs, and the 20th Century) in the Central Manege, which was open from 2013 to 2017. He is also one of the founders and the main editor of the multimedia historical park ‘Russia – My History’ (57th Pavilion of the VDNKh and 24 Russian Regions).
Myasnikov is a member of the Russian Writer’s Union and a laureate of the Alexander Nevsky Russian National Historical Literary Prize and the Government of the Russian Federation State Prize in Culture (2016), among others.