Reading Russian journalist Masha Gessen’s reminded me of that debate, now some six or seven years past. The book actually is two—a biography of Putin and a memoir of the closing of public life in Russia since Putin first came to national power in 1999. As a biography it is satisfactory, but no more than that. Gessen goes over well-worn ground, recounting Putin’s background as a poor and poorly educated young tough in Leningrad and then as a KGB officer whose career could be described, at best, as mediocre. She then sketches his meteoric rise from city politics in St. Petersburg to national power. This is useful but does not tell readers anything about Putin that most do not already know.
biography of Putin's time in Dresden
It is a brave journalist who undertakes to write a critical – not to say overtly hostile – biography of Putin, in a country where press freedom is severely circumscribed, self-censorship a useful survival mechanism, and where those who have written disobligingly about Putin and his close allies, or dug too deeply into the corruption endemic in Russian politics and business, have often come to grief. In her years as a journalist, Gessen herself has been threatened, intimidated and burgled.
Biography of Putin trending in China | The World of Chinese
One of the most important and courageous Russian journalists of her generation, Gessen previously wrote a highly acclaimed biography of Putin, ¸ and has recently signed on to produce a book about the Tsarnaev brothers, the Chechen-born Boston Marathon bombers. We’re delighted to host her for an author event at Politics & Prose on March 8 at 6 p.m.
Disclosure: that is the only biography of Putin that I have read