The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia (Hardcover)
Tracking the Soviet and Russian governments’ short-lived flirtation with liberal democracy, Gessen zeroes in on the evolution of Homo Sovieticus: the particular ways revolution and terror shaped Soviet culture for two generations, and how the effects of the revolution, in turn, primed the next generations to welcome totalitarianism. We see through the eyes of four Russians who were children during the fall of the USSR and resisted the siren call of dictatorship with incredible bravery. It’s not exactly a vision of our future—Americans are primed to accept different horrors than Russians—but it is an enthralling history and an ode to protest. -Lauren— From Fall Booknotes 2017
WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 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.
About the Author
Masha Gessen is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of several books, among them The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. The recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Fellowship, Gessen teaches at Amherst College and lives in New York City.