The Man Without a Face

The Man Without a Face : The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

3.78 (3,544 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$27.95

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


"The Man Without a Face" is the chilling account of how a low- level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.Handpicked as a successor by the "family" surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin seemed like a perfect choice for the oligarchy to shape according to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had stood in the shadows, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and smashed the country's fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for "The Man Without a Face" she has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. Her account of how a "faceless" man maneuvered his way into absolute-and absolutely corrupt-power has the makings of a classic of narrative more

Product details

  • Hardback | 314 pages
  • 157.48 x 226.06 x 33.02mm | 521.63g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Riverhead Books,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1594488428
  • 9781594488429
  • 85,687

Review quote

"Part psychological profile, part conspiracy study...As a Moscow native who has written perceptively for both Russian and Western publications, Gessen knows the cultures and pathologies of Russia...[and has] a delicious command of the English language...A fiercely independent journalist...Gessen's armchair psychoanalysis of Putin is speculative. But it is a clever and sometimes convincing speculation, based on a close reading of Putin's own inadvertently revealing accounts of his life, and on interviews with people who knew Putin before he mattered." - "The New York Times Book Review " "In a country where journalists critical of the government have a way of meeting untimely deaths, Ms. Gessen has shown remarkable courage in researching and writing this unflinching indictment of the most powerful man in Russia... Although written before the recent protests erupted, the book helps to explain the anger and outrage driving that movement."--"The Wall Street Journal ""Masha Gessen steps into the fray with a perceptive account of the new czar." - "Newsweek/Daily Beast ""Engrossing and insightful." - "Bloomberg ""[An] incisive bildingsroman of Putin and his regime...Alongside an acute apprehension of the post-Soviet dynamics that facilitated Putin's rise, Gessen balances narratives of Putin-as-bureaucrat and Putin-as-kleptocrat with a wider indictment of the "Mafia clan" that retains him solely as its Godfather." - "The Daily ""Illuminating... Gessen sprinkles telltale signs of the Putin who would eventually emerge and rule Russia with an iron fist...It is with these explosive revelations that Gessen truly excels...[She] presents her case calmly, picking holes in Putin's character, his policies, and his rule without stooping to hysterical condemnation. electrifying read from what can only be described as an incredibly brave writer." - "Columbia Journalism Review ""A chilling and brave work of nonfiction...Gessen has succeeded in convincingshow more

About Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen is a journalist and the author of several previous books, most recently "Perfect Rigor." Editor of the Russian-language "Snob "magazine, she has contributed to "Vanity Fair," "The New Republic," "Granta," and "Slate," among other more

Rating details

3,544 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 21% (743)
4 45% (1,599)
3 27% (950)
2 6% (205)
1 1% (47)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X