Paul's Reviews > The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

The Man Without a Face by Masha Gessen
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Jun 23, 2012

it was amazing

Some pretty scary stuff here! Fascinating stuff about the head of Russia. Sometimes it seems too crazy, as wild allegations (such as bombs killing Russian citizens set up by Russian security forces) can't be backed up by evidence. But other stories are, and are shocking enough. The author thinks that Putin is a small minded, incompetent KGB man, longing for Soviet greatness, and compulsively taking whatever he can, but surely he there has to be more to him than that.
The characterizations of Putin aside, some of the events documented here nucleare shocking. The explosion of the Kursk, the hostage situations in Beslan and the Moscow theatre, the killings of Politkovkaya and Litvinenko, the arrest of Russian entrepeneurs and the destruction of Kasparov's campaign all point to a pretty corrupt Russia.
Very interesting. As a footnote, the wikipedia page for Putin registers a lot of his successes, and almost none of his failures/criticisms. I feel I want more information on how Russian society works, on how Putin can still be popular, and how a society this big can go from communism to a form of democracy to a corrupt "thug-state".
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June 23, 2012 – Shelved
Started Reading
June 24, 2012 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Ciotta Paul, I appreciate your insightful review. I actually did my Master's thesis on Putin at NYU, which culminated into my novel "I, Putin" which addresses many of your questions. I explain Putin's appeal and how corruption occurred. "I, Putin" is available everywhere, if you're interested. Best wishes, Jennifer Ciotta


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