"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. ...an 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