A brave and revelatory account of how a small-minded, low-level KGB operative became the most powerful man in the world's largest country.
Since coming to power in 1999, Vladimir Putin has ruthlessly seized control of media, exiled or killed political rivals and dismantled Russia's fragile electoral system, transforming Russia once more into a threat to her own people and to the world.
Masha Gessen experienced this history first-hand, in the form of death-threats and the murder, exile, and mysterious disappearances of many of her friends and colleagues. She courageously returned to Moscow to report on Putin's alarming ascent, tracking down sources who dared speak to no one else.
Masha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist and author, and editor of the Russian-language Snob magazine, aimed at Russians living abroad. She has contributed to Granta, Slate and the New Statesman, among other publications. She is the author of several previous books, most recently Perfect Rigour and Blood Matters. She lives in Moscow.