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The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia Audiobook, by Masha Gessen Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Masha Gessen Narrator: Masha Gessen Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2017 ISBN: 9780525497943
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WINNER OF THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 

WINNER OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY'S HELEN BERNSTEIN BOOK AWARD  

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEWLOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POSTBOSTON GLOBESEATTLE TIMESCHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, NEWSWEEK, PASTE, and POP SUGAR


The essential journalist and bestselling biographer of Vladimir Putin reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more 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 follows 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 and grandchildren 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 paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today's terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Gessen’s] essential reportage traces her homeland’s political devolution through the dramatic real stories of four citizens who now face ‘a new set of impossible choices.’”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Fascinating and deeply felt.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Ambitious, timely, insightful, and unsparing.”

    Washington Post

  • “A remarkable portrait of an ever-shifting era…Gessen weaves her characters’ stories into a seamless, poignant whole. Her analysis of Putin’s malevolent administration is just as effective…A harrowing, compassionate, and important book.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A devastating, timely, and necessary reminder of the fragility and preciousness of all institutions of freedom.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An intimate look at Russia in the post-Soviet period, when the public’s hopes for democracy devolved within a restricted society characterized by “a constant state of low-level dread”…a well-crafted, inventive narrative.”

    Publisher’s Weekly

  • “Brilliant…A worthwhile read that describes how Putin’s powerful grip on Russia developed, offering a dire warning of how other nations could fall under a similar spell of state control.”

    Library Journal

  • Shortlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • A Buzzfeed Best Books of the Year selection of 2017 for nonfiction

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About the Author

Masha Gessen is a Russian American journalist who is the author of several books, including the national bestseller The Man without a Face. Her work has appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Newsweek, Slate, and many other publications, and has received numerous awards, most recently the 2013 Media for Liberty Award. She has served as the editor of several publications and as director of Radio Liberty’s Russia Service. She lives in Moscow.