A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia

Anna Politkovskaya, Author, Arch Tait, Translator, Scott Simon, Foreword by . Random $25.95 (369p) ISBN 978-1400066827

One cannot read these journals without the awful knowledge that their author, Politkovskaya (1958–2006), paid for them with her life, shot in the head in front of her Moscow apartment on October 7 (President Vladimir Putin's birthday). Internationally known as one of the few Russian journalists fearless enough to report Russian news independent of Kremlin spin, she was a relentless and vociferous critic of Putin, reporting on his abuses in the Chechnya war and his attempts to retract Russia's fledgling democratic freedoms. Covering December 2003 to August 2005, Politkovskaya records with dismal and sardonic exactitude the encroaching power of the state as it dismantles private businesses, shutters media outlets and squeezes more money out of its citizens. Both the farcical policies and individual crimes of the government are documented and scrutinized: instituting life sentences for suicide bombers, as well as the attempted cover-up of an 18-year-old private beaten to death by his superiors. Rounding out the bleak scene are opposition parties that prove fractious, disorganized, craven and predictably willing to sacrifice principle for power. Politkovskaya suffers nobly—and eloquently—in this semidaily account. A rare and intelligent memoir—if an entirely depressing one—this will give readers a detailed look into Russia's everyday march toward totalitarianism. (May)

Reviewed on: 12/31/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-84655-046-1
Open Ebook - 255 pages - 978-0-307-49763-5
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-1-84655-102-4
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-09-952345-1
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4070-1330-5
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