The Future Is History is a gripping and harrowing account of Russia’s slide back into totalitarianism, told through the stories of four young Russians who witnessed the rise of Putinism first-hand. It is a book about memory and forgetting, using the past to understand the present – and ultimately, to predict the future. Masha Gessen brilliantly shows how Vladimir Putin succeeded in erasing all traces of democracy from Russian history while paradoxically claiming to be its saviour; how ubiquitous propaganda has turned ordinary citizens into willing accomplices in their own destruction; and how those still committed to freedom are fighting back – risking everything … This important book captures what it feels like for someone born after communism who wants her country back.
For who is this book for ?
The Future Is History is for anyone who wants to understand the origins of Russia’s present-day totalitarianism.
- Masha Gessen is a brilliant writer whose prose is fluid, engaging and never dry.
- The book provides an excellent overview of Russian history from the fall of the Soviet Union to the present day.
- It offers insights into how Putin was able to dismantle democracy in Russia and what life is like for Russians living under his rule.
- The Future Is History is dense and may be too heavy for some readers.
- It focuses largely on Russian history and doesn’t provide a global perspective.
- Gessen’s personal biases occasionally shine through, which could interfere with the book’s reliability as a historical document.
Learn more about the author
Masha Gessen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of several books, including Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot. She has won numerous awards for her journalism, which has appeared in publications including Slate, Vanity Fair, Elle, Harper’s Magazine and Foreign Affairs.
“Astonishing … powerful … a beautifully written and damning indictment of Putin’s vicious autocracy.”
“A chilling and timely read, The Future Is History is a testament to the power of memory and truth in the face of totalitarianism.”
“Masha Gessen is a brilliant journalist and storyteller, who has lived in Russia during multiple periods of intense political change. This book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the grip that Vladimir Putin has on Russian society today – or how recent developments might play out in the future.”
“An essential read for understanding Russia today and its historical context”