Friday, October 14, 2016

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

The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a recent National Geographic documentary called "Facing Putin," Russian journalist Masha Geesen was one of the speakers who explained this man's rise, his hold over the Russian people, and his actions that have consequences for the rest of the world.

As a child and young man, Putin prided himself on his role as a thug who grew up to be a KGB operative. It's a fascinating story of a person Geesen describes as "shallow, self-involved, not terribly perceptive, and apparently very poorly informed....who was indeed the person running Russia." Geesen recounts Putin's rise, the number of people who have been killed, the number of business takeovers, the number of people jailed for various reasons, and countless other criminal acts backed by Putin and those he places in power.

One of the reasons I wanted to learn more about Putin, I must confess, is the attraction he holds for one of the candidates running for president of the United States. It is a frightening scenario that Putin and his government (who are currently cited for hacking into American email accounts) would have a great impact on the future of the United States.

This is a very readable book; by that I mean it is told from a personal perspective by an experienced reporter whose familiarity with Russian history and journalistic career provide solid and important historical information.

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