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On February 21, 2012, five young women entered the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. In neon-colored dresses, tights, and balaclavas, they performed a “punk prayer” beseeching the “Mother of God” to “get rid of Putin.” They were quickly shut down by security, and in the weeks and months that followed, three of the women were arrested and tried, and two were sentenced to a remote prison colony. But the incident captured international headlines, and footage of it went viral. People across the globe recognized not only a fierce act of political confrontation but also an inspired work of art that, in a time and place saturated with lies, found a new way to speak the truth.
Masha Gessen’s riveting account tells how such a phenomenon came about. Drawing on her exclusive, extensive access to the members of Pussy Riot and their families and associates, she reconstructs the fascinating personal journeys that transformed a group of young women into artists with a shared vision, gave them the courage and imagination to express it unforgettably, and endowed them with the strength to endure the devastating loneliness and isolation that have been the price of their triumph.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Hollis Ramsey on 07-07-18
Idealism No Match Against KGB Pragmatism
I am so relieved to have read this book. Masha Gessen knows whereof she speaks. I will be reading her other books, one by one, something I anticipate with an undertone of dread. this is real life, and it doesn't end happily ever after … not yet, at least. Putin's presence in this book about the Pussy Riot performance art punk prayer and its repercussions is not tangible; it's felt strongly, though, as if he were Sauron looking into a Palantir in Mordor. yes, it's THAT creepy. to anybody -- like Trump -- who thinks Putin is an okay guy, read the part that takes place in the penal colonies. if you have any background studying the Holocaust, it'll sound very familiar. these women and men are courageous and indefatigable. we here in America need them more than Russia wants them. but Russia is their Rodina, and I don't see them giving up on her. lucky for Russia, bad for Putin. and that's a Good Thing.