In this book, Gessen follows the lives of four Russians, born as the Soviet Union crumbled, at what promised to be the dawn of democracy.
Each came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children or 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 not only against the machinations of the regime that would seek to crush them all (censorship, intimidation, violence) but also against the war it waged on understanding itself, ensuring the unobstructed emergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state.
“The Future Is History” is a powerful and urgent cautionary tale by contemporary Russia’s most fearless inquisitor.
The book is the winner of the 2017 National Book Award in Nonfiction and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award.
Gessen is also a journalist, translator and activist who has been an outspoken critic of the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the former president of the United States, Donald Trump.
While writing primarily in English, Gessen also writes in native Russian. In addition to being the author of several non-fiction books, Gessen has been a prolific contributor to such publications as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, New Statesman, Granta, Slate, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, and U.S. News & World Report.