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The Man without a Face

Masha Gessen

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

The Man Without A Face takes a deeper look at the rise of Vladimir Putin's authoritarian rule.


The Man without a Face

The Man without a Face

by Masha Gessen


For over 20 years, Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia with an iron fist. Yet, after all this time, the autocratic leader remains an enigma to the public and politicians alike. Born in Leningrad during the Soviet period, Putin quickly rose through the ranks of the KGB before being selected as Boris Yeltsin's successor in March 2000.

Masha Gessen is an award-winning Russian-American journalist, LGBTQ activist, and staff writer for The New Yorker. In The Man Without A Face, Gessen chronicles Putin's path to power and the overall deterioration of the country's democracy, drawing on personal experience as a journalist working in Russia.

Favorite quote

The world's largest landmass, a land of oil, gas, and nuclear arms, had a new leader, and its business and political elites had no idea who he was.

- Masha Gessen

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