Read kindle The Future Is History How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia – stoptheworldcup.co.uk
Bias on top of bias on top of bias I feel about this book the way I felt about The Bronze Horseman It is clearly written by emigrant from #Russia who hates EVERYTHING about Russia There is no attempt to be objective vitriol in #who hates EVERYTHING about Russia There is no attempt to be objective here vitriol in sentence where even the most innocuous things are described as depressing and dire and BAD free overnment sponsored mind you preschools portrayed as a cross between baby prisons and warehouses really how did we all make it then after attending them this is just one of the most ridiculous exaggerations My memories of my standard preschool include playing a lot outside eating and taking naps and doing arts and learning songs and dancing and Using Twitter For Business (Stuff Made Simple Book 4) going to the beach Well Iuess this is how Masha Gessen is making her name in the West She can come up with ridiculously convoluted theories of why Russians welcome and love Putin homo soveticus my ass but the reality is simple not many Russians could make it in a cut throat unregulated post perestroika capitalist Russia including my parents who could barely keep it together in the new free market Is this so hard to comprehend that majority wanted to o back to the time of paltry but uaranteed income free medical services and uality education They thought Putin would bring back the often imagined rosy past and they still think the same way nowRead Secondhand Time The Last of the Soviets for something balanced a criticism with a perspective and understanding The slow transition from one form to another We see this process this morphing through the lives of several individuals professionals in the 197080s USSR and children born under Soviet control who witness the shifts through each decade of their lives and the paths they each take into adulthoodGessen is an artful researcher and interviewer She shares the lives of her subjects without judgement She reserves her criticisms for the overnment there is a lengthy discussion on how to define the modern Russian state authoritarian totalitarian illiberal democracy etc but bears these out with the systematic abuses of power and human rights violations and how they affect the lives of all of her subjectsWe trace the days of Gorbachev and perestroika through the fall and rise of Yeltsin and finally the long tenure of Putin as it plays out to 2016 and there s been since She spends chapters on Ukraine and the Orange Revolution the protests in 2010 and on the dissidence of Pussy Riot and other activists and the encroachment in Crimea including a short history of the region and the various ethnic cleansings that took place there in the over the last century Perhaps the most interesting thing Gessen shows is the mental state and health of country or several countries as former Soviet states now stand independent and how hopelessness depression and anxiety are used as control measuresI will be chewing on this one for a long while It is a dense read 500 pages interspersing history and politics with personal stories and one of the most important and prescient books that I have read in yearsGessen is a top tier writer and I want to return to her work very soon This is an important bookIts purpose is to explain how and why Russia returned to a state of totalitarianism despite the initial hope and democratisation of the Yeltsin period Why did the Russian people not fasten on to their new freedoms in the way that the citizens of the Baltic republics and to a lesser extent those of Ukraine didMasha Gessen s explanation explores via the lives of seven individuals and through three disciplines which did not exist in the Soviet period sociology psychoanalysis and opinion polling the persistence of what she calls Homo SovieticusThis character the opinion polling and a bit less plausibly the psychoanalysis suggest did not fade away after the collapse of the Soviet Union nor even with the passing of enerations Putin era youth roups like Nashi differ little from their Soviets euivalents Most citizens fear the open expanse of liberal freedom preferring the narrow corridor of the authoritarian StateMost Russians the book says yearn not for change and opportunity and the responsibility and anxiety that may o with them but for order imposed from above and strength and stability Strong and stable where have we heard that latelyThe book contains a discussion of the precise meaning of totalitarianism Hannah Arendt is uoted along with other writers But the precise meaning is largely beside the point In 2017 opposition politics in Russia is all but impossible If you oppose Putin you may be murdered like Boris Nemtsov Elections are rigged even if Putin opponents are excluded and rigging is therefore unnecessary Academics are monitored for ideological conformity Demonstrations are all but impossibl. The essential journalist and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin reveals how in the space of a eneration Russia surrendered to a 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 fol. E to stage Protesters may be arrested by the hundred Justice is arbitrary and controlled by the executive Corruption aboundsGessen discusses whether a totalitarian state needs an ideology The answer appears to be not necessarily but it helps especially when you are etting started and you can change it as circumstances demand And the ideology should be a single simple idea Like MAGA or Brexit perhapsThe current ideology is Eurasia or Greater Russia as people in Ukraine are well aware and its high priest is Alexander Dugin Dugin is the Steve Bannon or Nigel Farage of Russia only worse According to this book Dugin
Has A Personal Connection To a personal connection to American neo Nazi Richard Spencer the Hail Trump Get Up and Do It! guyDugin s ideology is all about traditional family values which are threatened by Western liberalism There are no such things he says as universal human values Liberal social but not economic ideas are to be abhorred they are Western and an affront to white Christian civilisation as epitomised by the Russian World Putin is thus the leader of a movement to restore European Civilisation This is where itets really scary LGBT people are deviants who deserve to be liuidated the Russian opinion polling on this is devastating And a warning this book contains descriptions of homophobic vigilante violence tacitly state sanctioned that may cost you sleepTo what extent do people like Bannon Spencer Farage Le Pen and Trump buy into Dugin s despicable ideology How intent are they on spreading it outside of Russia They may seem like comic villains
but we should ask ourselves this uestion before we laugh too muchApart from Nemtsov the characters in Gessen s we should ask ourselves this uestion before we laugh too muchApart from Nemtsov the characters in Gessen s survive though most of them leave Russia The book leaves you feeling firstly that Russians do not deserve their fate Homo Sovieticus notwithstanding and secondly that neither do we in Europe or America and we d #Better Think About ThatTowards The #think about thatTowards the of the book Gessen notes that in June 2017 a Russian opinion poll reported that Russians choice for most outstanding person of all time in the entire world was Joseph Stalin The Future is History by Masha GessenThis book won the National Book Award in 2017 It is an oddly constructed read tracing the last thirty years of Russia Four Russians born in the 1980 s at the dawn of democracy are profiled as they Repeat Performance grow into adulthood of the new Millennium Due to their political beliefs and in some cases sexual identities they become opponents of the Putin regime on the losing side of this political struggle But the story also tracks Yeltsin and Putin so there are in effect six parallel stories In the mid to late 90 s disillusioned Russians felt outrage towards NATO s involvement in the Balkans which included the airstrikes in Serbia Additionally the militants in Chechnya were causing areat deal of outrage too Many Russians were nostalgic for the old days of motherland Lo and behold into the void steps Vladimir Putin He wins an election promoting his neo nationalist agenda Bit by bit his regime dismantles Russia s semi democratic trajectory into what is a totalitarian state today3 stars In a nutshell the writing is Newsjacking good and the author has areat deal of knowledge about Russia but the storytelling is sub par The author should have followed at most one person s story in tandem with the over arching theme of Russia s march to autocracy The book is not particularly dramatic At times it feels like a regurgitation of well integrated newspaper articles about Russia over this period This is understandable since the author is a journalist but in the end the read just fell flat for me Imagine the United States collapses in the near future And imagine someone decides to write about the collapse of contemporary America 20 25 years from now focusing only on Trump racism poverty health care etc In order to do so this person follows the rise of Richard Spencer and the lives of a bunch of liberal middle class individuals from NYC LA and let s say Houston Would this be a fair depiction of life in the US Yet this is what Masha Gessen does with the Soviet Union and Russia in her book Gessen is a Jewish woman who was told by her parents that in order to beat the Soviet antisemitic machine they could no longer live in our country something that she herself would tell her children years later before leaving Moscow for New York This is what the reader is warned about in the prologue some sort of The Baron Goes Fast (Baron, guidelines to frame the events narrated in the book Gessen traces the life trajectories of six different people whorew up in the post Soviet space plus Aleksandr Dugin who makes sporadic and at times incomprehensible appearances here and there The idea of using other people lives seems to The Organic City give a lot of credibility to the point Gessen tries to make wh. Lows 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 andrandchildren 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.