The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

( 10 )

Overview

A chilling and unflinching portrait of one of the most fearsome figures in world politics.
 
       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...

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The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

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Overview

A chilling and unflinching portrait of one of the most fearsome figures in world politics.
 
       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 nonfiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Gessen came to America as a teenager but has since returned to Russia, where she edits the magazine Snob; she's also written a handful of well-received books, mostly on Russian topics. All of which puts her in the perfect position to write rigorously about the rise to power of Vladimir Putin. Despite news reports, Putin doesn't have quite the notoriety he deserves in the West; Gessen should push him to the forefront.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594486517
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 88,603
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Masha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist who writes fluently in Russian and English. She contributes frequently to Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Newsweek, Slate, and many other publications. The author of several previous books, she lives in Moscow.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 1, 2012

    Recommended

    This book does not appear to be objective or even try to be. Nonetheless it paints such a picture that if even halfway true it is alarming that such a man a such a system could be in charge of on of the most powerful countries in the world.

    The book similarly makes one think twice about how easy or difficult change and particularly political change can be.

    The author was very brave to write this book given the description she gives. Maybe the notoriety she gets from this book will save her life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Dont Don't waste your time or $$$

    Author clearly has an agenda. This should not be considered a bio of Putin. There are snippets of info about him amongst the author's lengthy diatribes but I could not even finish the read

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2012

    The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by M

    The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen provides a look into the past of one of Russia’s most ruthless and powerful leaders. She sheds light on the circumstances surrounding the way in which he gained power, and even gives insight into Putin’s personality and life before he was in the spotlight. She is successful in humanizing him in a way that has never been attempted before, but that is completely appropriate considering the events occurring when this book was published. It was published in early 2012, right around the time that the Russian revolts were gaining momentum, and this book only added fire to the uprisings. Gessen’s writing is fluid and accessible, and her in depth research is exceedingly evident throughout the text. It was a reasonably fast read, considering the subject matter, and I would highly recommend picking it up.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Putin is Corrput

    Who ever left the previous comment below stating "Putin is Love" is clearly drinking the Russian Koolaid.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    Truth about Russia

    It is a truthful account of the rise of Putin and of what happened since the breakdown of Soviet Union, quite exciting but at the same time, chilling story. With today's news of court verdict sentencing three young women for singing anti-Putin song to a lengthy prison term, quite believable.
    The author's narrative is easy to read and she has done thorough research on the subject.
    Surely, people who consider themselves pro-soviet or who are against democracy, would not enjoy.
    For others, hope will bring changes to Russia.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    The book was interesting, but the deal breaker for the audiobook

    The book was interesting, but the deal breaker for the audiobook was the reader. I had to stop early because I couldn't stand it. She sounds like someone had told her, "OK, squint a little, turn your head so you can look straight out of the corners of your eyes, and sound like you're reading something filled with intrigue." Her Russian accent, used when reading quotes, is even worse. Skip the audiobook; buy the book instead.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    Not good

    Putin is love

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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