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4.0 

Surviving Autocracy

By Masha Gessen
Surviving Autocracy by Masha Gessen digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

“When Gessen speaks about autocracy, you listen. The New York Times

“A reckoning with what has been lost in the past few years and a map forward with our beliefs intact.” Interview

As seen on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and heard on NPR’s All Things Considered: the bestselling, National Book Awardwinning journalist offers an essential guide to understanding, resisting, and recovering from the ravages of our tumultuous times.

This incisive book provides an essential guide to understanding and recovering from the calamitous corrosion of American democracy over the past few years. Thanks to the special perspective that is the legacy of a Soviet childhood and two decades covering the resurgence of totalitarianism in Russia, Masha Gessen has a sixth sense for the manifestations of autocracy—and the unique cross-cultural fluency to delineate their emergence to Americans. Gessen not only anatomizes the corrosion of the institutions and cultural norms we hoped would save us but also tells us the story of how a short few years 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 and a call to account but also a beacon to recovery—and to the hope of what comes next.

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15 Reviews

4.0
“Surviving Autocracy by Masha Gessen Is prophetic. Written prior to the Jan 6 insurrection, the second impeachment, and only 1 month into the UN declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. One can only call this book prophetic. Gessen explores what makes Trump an autocrat, and pulls on key moments to bolster the calm. They also expose the weakness of what we think are solid institutions when it comes to people who refuse to follow the conventions and norms of regular society. Each chapter was more fascinating. The Styrofoam President was brilliant, Trump being literally a copy of glamour and what he idolizes, with no real backing behind it. Like his cake which was an exact replica of Obama’s inaugural cake, except Trumps was made mostly of Styrofoam to Obama’s cake. The chapter on lies was illuminating. As a non-American, I often question why Trump and his presidency was not constantly called for lying, fact-checked, or had a disclaimer, like his lies did in Canada and other nations' coverage of the same events. I particularly enjoyed the chapter about news media and the refusal to call what Trump said as lies, or falsehoods. Even quoting statements put out by NPR on this very issue. They also noted about racism, that according to the mean one could make racist statements, have a history of racist statements and policies yet still the news media was hesitant to call the person a racist. Noting that would not be the case for a murdered, a drunk driver, etc. The concept of reality and whose reality is echoed and mirrored back was fascinating. As was the epilogue where Gessen predicts a violent uprising of Trump does not win 2020 election, trump's refusal to succeed power, to go quietly, to not not return, to turn on those unloyal, and for the governing system, laws and standards of America to not be able to cope, reprimand, or weather Trump. This book is for interested in the HOW not what Trump said or what happened but how it was “allowed” to happen”
“A quick, enjoyable (as much as can be given the subject) book on the Trump presidency/era, through approximately April 2020. While I thought the book was excellent, I fear that it's preaching to the choir. The people that need to read this would sooner burn it, and the people that will read it largely already know and believe what's being said. It also doesn't really offer anything new in the way of facts. However, I still appreciated and enjoyed the author's take on the state of things, especially since she has a unique perspective as a journalist in Russia during Putin's rise.”

About Masha Gessen

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.

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