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Product ID: 199688
Look out for Masha Gessen's new book, The Future is History, coming October 2017
From journalism's bravest, Masha Gessen—whose regular appearances on Samantha Bee, Rachel Maddow, the pages of the New
York Times, and more have been a beacon of clarity in our troubled times -- comes a portrait of a ruthless man's ascent
to near-absolute power.
In 1999, the “Family” surrounding Boris Yeltsin went looking for a successor to the ailing and increasingly
unpopular president. Vladimir Putin, with very little governmental or administrative experience—he’d been deputy mayor
of St. Petersburg, and briefly, director of the secret police—nevertheless seemed the perfect choice: a “faceless”
creature whom Yeltsin and his cronies could mold in their own image. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to
see in him the progressive leader of their dreams—even as Putin, with ruthless efficiency, dismantled the country’s
media, wrested control and wealth from the business class, and destroyed the fragile mechanisms of democracy. Within a
few brief years, virtually every obstacle to his unbridled control was removed and every opposing voice silenced, with
political rivals and critics driven into exile or to the grave.
Masha Gessen has experienced and reported this history firsthand, and brings it up to its present moment of
unrest and uncertainty. Her spellbinding account of Putin’s rise and reign will stand as a classic of narrative