Download Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin's Russia Audiobook

Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putins Russia Audiobook, by Joshua Yaffa Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Joshua Yaffa Narrator: Fred Sanders Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2020 ISBN: 9780593167083
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From a leading journalist in Moscow and correspondent for The New Yorker, a groundbreaking portrait of modern Russia and the inner struggles of the people who sustain Vladimir Putin’s rule
In this rich and novelistic tour of contemporary Russia, Joshua Yaffa introduces readers to some of the country’s most remarkable figures—from politicians and entrepreneurs to artists and historians—who have built their careers and constructed their identities in the shadow of the Putin system. Torn between their own ambitions and the omnipresent demands of the state, each walks an individual path of compromise. Some muster cunning and cynicism to extract all manner of benefits and privileges from those in power. Others, finding themselves to be less adept, are left broken and demoralized. What binds them together is the tangled web of dilemmas and contradictions they face.
Between Two Fires chronicles the lives of a number of strivers who understand that their dreams are best—or only—realized through varying degrees of cooperation with the Russian government. With sensitivity and depth, Yaffa profiles the director of the country’s main television channel, an Orthodox priest at war with the church hierarchy, a Chechen humanitarian who turns a blind eye to persecutions, and many others. The result is an intimate and probing portrait of a nation that is much discussed yet little understood. By showing how citizens shape their lives around the demands of a capricious and oftentimes repressive state—as often by choice as under threat of force— Yaffa offers urgent lessons about the true nature of modern authoritarianism.  Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • This is a book about Putin’s Russia that is unlike any other—an account not of the leader himself but of the ways in which contemporary Russians reckon with the state he has created. With a novelist’s eye for the telling detail and a philosopher’s grasp of moral nuance, Joshua Yaffa strings together a sequence of unforgettable portraits. The result is a profound inquiry into the myriad gradations of individual compromise in post–Soviet Russia. Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Say Nothing
  • Between Two Fires is a study of compromise, opportunism, and the fraught moral choices available in Putin’s Russia. In a series of carefully reported stories, Joshua Yaffa shows how people choose—sometimes consciously and other times not—to adapt, change, and otherwise ‘make do’ in an authoritarian state. This is the real story of how modern authoritarianism works and even thrives, by manipulating the motivations of the regime’s most capable and ambitious citizens. Anne Applebaum, author of Red Famine and Gulag
  • In Between Two Fires, Joshua Yaffa brilliantly captures the complex choices and compromises that Russians make to survive, thrive, or remain true to their principles in Putin’s Russia. Through captivating storytelling, Yaffa drills deep into profiles of a very diverse set of Russian personalities, capturing with nuance the contradictions of contemporary Russia. Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia and author of From Cold War to Hot Peace
  • Joshua Yaffa’s portrait of a people is a triumph—a brilliantly original, deeply literate path through the moral struggles and calculations of a modern Russia he knows in his bones. He is allergic to the caricatures of the ruler and the ruled, and is, simply, a beautiful writer, with the humane, tragicomic eye of a novelist and the tough-minded rigor of the best journalists. Evan Osnos, author of Age of Ambition
  • Few journalists have penetrated so deep and with so much nuance into the moral ambiguities of Russia. If you want insight into the deeper distortions the Kremlin causes in people’s psyches this book is invaluable. Peter Pomerantsev, author of Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible

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About the Narrator

Fred Sanders, an actor and Earphones Award–winning narrator, has received critics’ praise for his audio narrations that range from nonfiction, memoir, and fiction to mystery and suspense. He been seen on Broadway in The Buddy Holly Story, in national tours for Driving Miss Daisy and Big River, and on such television shows as Seinfeld, The West Wing, Will and Grace, Numb3rs,Titus, and Malcolm in the Middle. His films include Sea of Love, The Shadow, and the Oscar-nominated short Culture. He is a native New Yorker and Yale graduate.