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Gessen Masha download all books 3 books

Genre: Non-fiction

The Man Without a Face

Handpicked as a successor by the “family” surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin seemed like a perfect choice for the oligarchy to shape according to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had stood in the shadows, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and smashed the country's fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.

As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for she has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. Her account of how a “faceless” man maneuvered his way into absolute-and absolutely corrupt-power has the makings of a classic of narrative nonfiction.

Gay Propaganda

As part of a strategy to consolidate political control in Russia following massive pro-democracy protests that shook the government, President Vladimir Putin decided it needed an enemy to unite the country. The Kremlin opted to demonize gays and lesbians. In June 2013 Putin signed a bill banning the “propaganda” of so-called non-traditional relationships. Predictably, in the months that followed, anti-gay attacks spread across Russia.

The stories gathered in offer a timely and intimate window into the hardships faced by Russians on the receiving end of state-sanctioned homophobia, as well as the the humor, passion, and resilience people show in the face of adversity. Here are stories of men and women in long-term committed relationships as well as those still looking for love; of those raising kids or negotiating difficult family dynamics; of those facing the challenges of continuing to live in Russia or joining a rapidly growing exodus.

Genre: Non-fiction

The heroic story of Pussy Riot, who resurrected the power of truth in a society built on lies

On February 21, 2012, five young women entered the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. In neon-colored dresses, tights, and balaclavas, they performed a “punk prayer” beseeching the “Mother of God” to “get rid of Putin.” They were quickly shut down by security, and in the weeks and months that followed, three of the women were arrested and tried, and two were sentenced to a remote prison colony. But the incident captured international headlines, and footage of it went viral. People across the globe recognized not only a fierce act of political confrontation but also an inspired work of art that, in a time and place saturated with lies, found a new way to speak the truth.

Masha Gessen’s riveting account tells how such a phenomenon came about. Drawing on her exclusive, extensive access to the members of Pussy Riot and their families and associates, she reconstructs the fascinating personal journeys that transformed a group of young women into artists with a shared vision, gave them the courage and imagination to express it unforgettably, and endowed them with the strength to endure the devastating loneliness and isolation that have been the price of their triumph.

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