Synopses & Reviews
"When Gessen speaks about autocracy, you listen." —The New York Times
"The Platonic ideal of the anti-Trump Trump book." —The Washington Post
As seen on MSNBC Morning Joe and heard on NPR All Things Considered: the bestselling, National Book Award-winning journalist offers an essential guide to understanding, resisting, and recovering from the ravages of our tumultuous times.
In the run-up to the 2016 election, Masha Gessen stood out from other journalists for the ability to convey the ominous significance of Donald Trump's speech and behavior, unprecedented in a national candidate. Within forty-eight hours of his victory, the essay "Autocracy: Rules for Survival" had gone viral, and Gessen's coverage of his norm-smashing presidency became essential reading for a citizenry struggling to wrap their heads around the unimaginable. Thanks to the special perspective that is the legacy of a Soviet childhood and two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Gessen has a sixth sense for signs of autocracy — and the unique cross-cultural fluency to delineate its emergence to Americans. This incisive book provides an indispensable overview of the calamitous trajectory of the past few years. Gessen not only highlights the corrosion of the media, the judiciary, and the cultural norms we hoped would save us but also tells us the story of how a short few years have changed us, from a people who saw ourselves as a nation of immigrants to a populace haggling over a border wall, heirs to a degraded sense of truth, meaning, and possibility. Surviving Autocracy is an inventory of ravages but also a beacon to recovery — or to enduring, and resisting, an ongoing assault.
"A stark wake-up call; to those who are looking for what happens now, Gessen's notes on how we need to rebuild the concept of a 'we' in our time are warm and moving, a light of hope that these years can be survived." LitHub
"An indispensable voice of and for this moment." Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny
"Gessen brings to all work a unique blend of intellect and manifold passions...[flashing] the fierce attitude and language of the partisan activist in one moment, returning to the cooler mien of a public intellectual the next." NPR
About the Author
Masha Gessen is the author of eleven other books, including the National Book Award-winning The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia and The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. A staff writer at The New Yorker and the recipient of numerous awards, including Guggenheim and Carnegie fellowships, Gessen teaches at Bard College and lives in New York City.
Emily B. on PowellsBooks.Blog
These books inform us, they give us the sometimes-uncomfortable knowledge necessary to understand our past, inform our present, and actively create our future...