27 October 2014

The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen [2013]

I picked this up in India a couple of years ago (before publication in the UK) because I needed to get rid of some rupees at Delhi Airport, but I only just got around to reading it.  It's a completely chilling account of Putin's rise to power and of the kleptocracy of modern Russia.  Amongst other things, Gessen suggests that hundreds of innocent civilians were sacrificed in fake terrorist attacks in order to assist with Putin's rise to power.  There is also a recurring theme in which journalists, politicians or businessmen who cross Putin end up dead.  Although Gessen's tone is a little hysterical at times, this book made me want to learn a lot more about modern Russia.  But not necessarily to go there again.

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