Prominent Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen charts the fall of the USSR, as well as the emergence of the authoritarian regime in Russia led by Vladimir Putin. This book analyzes the economic and social issues that lead to a crisis in the Soviet political system, but also contends with the far more challenging task of understanding why Russia failed to become a liberal democracy, instead recreating a repressive social order that hearkens back in many respects to its brutal Stalinist past. With the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in American elections, Gessen provides invaluable context on the situation in contemporary Russia, including the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. A worthwhile read for any curious news junkie.
Meghan Casey (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)