The Future Is History
How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS
WINNER OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY'S HELEN BERNSTEIN BOOK AWARD
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, SEATTLE TIMES, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NEWSWEEK, PASTE, and POP SUGAR
The essential journalist and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy.
Award-winning journalist Masha Gessen's understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled. In The Future Is History, Gessen follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own--as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings.
Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today's terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Masha Gessen has established herself as an authority on 21st-century Russia, offering lucid explanations of how the country slipped from its post-Soviet promise of openness into today’s totalitarian state led by Vladimir Putin. In The Future Is History, the exiled journalist explores how Putin's rise has affected everyday people by following seven Russians from different walks of life. Gessen profiles their dashed hopes and hard choices, providing commentary based on her deep knowledge of psychology, sociology, and Russia's past. The Future Is History is a stunning, powerful piece of journalism that uses personal histories to tell a political story.
Quite simply amazing.