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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review - 1 : The Man without a face : Unlikely rise of Vladmir Putin

Book falls in two genre; History and Biography. Masha Gessen writes with critical attitude. She tells how Vladmir Putin, once an unknown KGB spy, surprisingly sprang as the Prime Minister, during Boris Yeltsin regime and eventually headed toward the Presidential candidate in 2000. In third section of book, Putin's brief biography is given, covering childhood and student days.

There are accounts of the political situation prevailed from 1985 ('Perestroika' and 'glasnost' introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev) to the fall of Soviet Union, rise of Boris Yeltsin amid this political chaos, Putin's association with Democratic leaders and gradual rise in that arena leading to Prime Minister ship under Yeltsin. In rest chapters author throws light to how Putin bring back Russia to Soviet Era by curtailing/delimiting Democracy. Many critical portions are also written suspecting Putin's (in fact KGB's & FSB's) hand everywhere such as in 'Kursk' Submarine blast, Beslan hostage tragedy, Chechanya and murder/imprisonment of several Russian leaders and journalists. At last when author says, Putin has a deposit worth 40 Billion dollars, readers eyebrow curves, there.

Good read. But cannot take all points in serious sense, in the way intended by the author. Though some seems to be possible, others were like farcical. 'Once a Spy, Always a Spy'; this may be why suspecting Putin's/KGB's hand everywhere.