If you feel like you have not payed any attention to Russia, you have heard just enough about Russia to figure that the situation is not so colorful, but you have not read enough to know how ugly the situation is, or how it got so ugly, then you will love this book. Masha Gessen lives in Moscow, where she has been working as a journalist, and as her career had just begun when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, she seems to know what she is writing about. This book is about Putin, about how he got the power and how he made it impossible for democracy to take over Russia. It is quite intense as, according to Gessen, many voices have been imprisoned, many have been murdered, and companies, parties and media have been silenced. The biggest surprise, after reading this book, is that Masha Gessen (Russian, a journalist, a Jew and a lesbian) is still able to walk the streets of Moscow unharmed.