2017 National Book Award for Nonfiction
Synopses & Reviews
"Ambitious, timely, insightful and unsparing … By far Gessen’s best book, a sweeping intellectual history of Russia over the past four decades, told through a Tolstoyan gallery of characters. … What makes the book so worthwhile … are its keen observations about Russia from the point of view of those experiencing its return to a heavy-handed state. It helps that Gessen is a participant, and not just an observer, able to translate that world adeptly for Western readers. … You feel right there on the streets." Washington Post
"A remarkable portrait of an ever-shifting era…Gessen weaves her characters’ stories into a seamless, poignant whole. Her analysis of Putin’s malevolent administration is just as effective…a harrowing, compassionate and important book." San Francisco Chronicle
"Fascinating and deeply felt." The New York Times Book Review
Hailed for her "fearless indictment of the most powerful man in Russia" (The Wall Street Journal), award-winning journalist Masha Gessen is unparalleled in her understanding of the events and forces that have wracked her native country in recent times. In The Future Is History, she follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own--as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings. Gessen charts their paths not only against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, but also against the war it waged on understanding itself, ensuring the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today's terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state.
Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.
About the Author
Masha Gessens’s previous books include The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy and the national best seller The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. She has immigrated to the United States twice—once, as a teenager, from the Soviet Union and again, more than thirty years later, from Putin’s Russia. She lives in New York City.