January 26, 2023, 6:00 pm PT
What is Politics For?
Moderated by journalist, commentator & author Carol Off
One of our most trenchant observers of democracy, Masha Gessen is the author of eleven 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, they have covered political subjects including Russia, L.G.B.T. rights, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, and the rise of autocracy among others.
Gessen’s latest book, Surviving Autocracy, is a bracing overview of the calamitous trajectory of American democracy under the Trump administration. Highlighting not only the corrosion of the media, the judiciary, and the cultural norms they hoped would save them, Gessen also illuminates how a short few years have changed Americans from a people who saw themselves as a nation of immigrants to a populace haggling over a border wall, heirs to a degraded sense of truth, meaning, and possibility.
Gessen’s understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled. As a journalist living in Moscow, they have experienced this history firsthand, prompting The Wall Street Journal to praise, “In a country where journalists critical of the government have a way of meeting untimely deaths, Gessen has shown remarkable courage in researching and writing this unflinching indictment of the most powerful man in Russia.”
They have contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, and Slate, among others. On a parallel track, Gessen has also been a science journalist, covering AIDS, medical genetics, and mathematics. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, Gessen is on faculty at Bard College and has lived in New York since 2013 after more than twenty years as a journalist and editor in Moscow.
“Gessen shines a piercing light into every dark corner.” —Foreign Affairs
Tickets are FREE, registration required for both live stream and in-person attendance. Please note that the talk will be available via live stream but will not remain up for viewing after the event has passed.
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