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

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RIVERHEAD BOOKS, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 314 pages
12 Reviews

The Man Without a Face is the chilling account of how a low- level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.

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 The Man Without a Face 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - knightlight777 - LibraryThing

I was looking for more of a biography and this offering certainly had some of that, but to me got bogged down into the expose of a journalist on a political operative. Conclusion Vladimir Putin is a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

This book, like many other recent nonfiction works I've read, doesn't use footnotes. So, despite the 16 pages of notes and sources,the work often seemed speculative to me as I read it. There is ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Masha Gessen is a Russian American journalist and the author, most recently, of the national bestseller The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin and Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot. Her award-winning work has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Vanity Fair, and elsewhere. A longtime resident of Moscow, Gessen now lives in New York.

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