The Future Is History: Book summary and reviews of The Future Is History by Masha Gessen

The Future Is History

How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

by Masha Gessen

The Future Is History by Masha Gessen

Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Putin's bestselling biographer reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy.

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 of them 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 against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured 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.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A devastating, timely, and necessary reminder of the fragility and preciousness of all institutions of freedom." - Booklist

"Starred Review. A superb, alarming portrait of a government that exercises outsize influence in the modern world, at great human cost." - Kirkus

"An intimate look at Russia in the post-Soviet period, when the public's hopes for democracy devolved within a restricted society characterized by 'a constant state of low-level dread' ... a well-crafted, inventive narrative." - Publisher's Weekly

"Brilliant... A worthwhile read that describes how Putin's powerful grip on Russia developed, offering a dire warning of how other nations could fall under a similar spell of state control." - Library Journal

"Masha Gessen is humbly erudite, deftly unconventional, and courageously honest.  At this particular historical moment, when we must understand Russia to understand ourselves, we are all very lucky to have her." - Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny

"A fine example of journalism approximating art. Necessary reading for anyone trying to understand the earthshaking events of our time: how in one country after another individual aspirations for wealth and power mutated into collective cravings for strongmen." - Pankaj Mishra, author of An End to Suffering and Age of Anger

"The Future is History is a beautifully-written, sensitively-argued and cleverly-structured journey through Russia's failure to build democracy...If you want to truly understand why Vladimir Putin has been able to so dominate his country, this book will help you." - Oliver Bullough, author of Let Our Fame Be Great and The Last Man in Russia

The information about The Future Is History shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Masha Gessen Author Biography

Photo: Snob Magazine

Masha Gessen is a journalist and the author of several previous books, including Perfect Rigor and Blood Matters. Deputy editor of the Russian-language Snob magazine, she has contributed to Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Granta, and Slate, among other publications. She lives in Moscow.

Author Interview

Name Pronunciation
Masha Gessen: GESS-en, rhymes with yes

Other books by Masha Gessen at BookBrowse
  • The Man Without a Face jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more history, science & current affairs...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice


Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Never Coming Back
    by Alison McGhee

    A moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.