Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot

Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot

Paperback Riverhead

By (author) Masha Gessen

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  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Format: Paperback | 308 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 212mm x 18mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 8 January 2014
  • ISBN 10: 1594632197
  • ISBN 13: 9781594632198
  • Sales rank: 105,080

Product description

The heroic story of Pussy Riot, who resurrected the power of truth in a society built on lies On February 21, 2012, five young women entered the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. In neon-colored dresses, tights, and balaclavas, they performed a "punk prayer" beseeching the "Mother of God" to "get rid of Putin." They were quickly shut down by security, and in the weeks and months that followed, three of the women were arrested and tried, and two were sentenced to a remote prison colony. But the incident captured international headlines, and footage of it went viral. People across the globe recognized not only a fierce act of political confrontation but also an inspired work of art that, in a time and place saturated with lies, found a new way to speak the truth. Masha Gessen's riveting account tells how such a phenomenon came about. Drawing on her exclusive, extensive access to the members of Pussy Riot and their families and associates, she reconstructs the fascinating personal journeys that transformed a group of young women into artists with a shared vision, gave them the courage and imagination to express it unforgettably, and endowed them with the strength to endure the devastating loneliness and isolation that have been the price of their triumph.

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Author information

Masha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist who is the author of several books, most recently the national bestseller "The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin." 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 New York.

Review quote

Praise for "WORDS WILL BREAK CEMENT: THE PASSION OF PUSSY RIOT" "Urgent ... damning ... Much here will be new to the American reader. All of it is infuriating." -Alexander Nazaryan, "The New York Times " "Remarkable...Masha Gessen [is] one of the most important activists and journalists Russia has known in a generation... disquieting, moving, and closely reported." -David Remnick, The "New Yorker" "The fullest account so far of the Pussy Riot story... A moving object lesson in the power of art -- perhaps especially messy and exuberant art -- to rise above repression and have the last, cement-breaking word." -Sara Marcus," Los Angeles Times" "Valuable for its insights into the modern cultural history of Russia, with all its idealistic muddles, dead-ends and false starts ... ideal for those curious about the country behind the Games." -"The Economist" "What makes someone into a dissident? Why do some people give up everything -- home, family, job -- to embark on a career of protest? ... Gessen set out to answer this question ... in this excellent short account." -"The Washington Post" "A compulsively readable book that explains in unflinching terms the tragedy that is modern Russia..."Words Will Break Cement "is an instant classic, destined to take its place with Solzhenitsyn's writings about the Gulag... one comes away...marveling at the courage of the Pussy Riot members making a stand against tyranny while demonstrating the willingness to pay a steep price" -"New York Journal of Books" "Riveting... [Gessen] is a sharp observer of people and events, and she tells Pussy Riot's story in a lively style that is somehow casual, precise, and powerful all at once. She has written a terrific book, a compelling story of three creative women who courageously attacked a repressive regime by disrupting the spectacle of its propaganda." -"The Rumpus" "The significance of "Words Will Break Cement."..is its demonstrati