Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Words Will Break Cement: The Passion Of Pussy Riot

Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden's review of Masha Gessen's Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot appears today in the Washington Times.

Given that Russian President Vladamir Putin is behaving like a 17th-century Russian czar, I suggest that the time has come to grant him an appropriate title — and what immediately comes to mind is “Vlad the Terrible.”

What prompts my disgust is an Associated Press photo from Sochi, Russia, during the first days of the Olympics showing several men clad in czarist-era Cossack uniforms thrashing cowering women with whips — members of the punk rock group Pussy Riot, women whose innovative protests have bedeviled the Russian president for the past several years.

Did Mr. Putin order the savage beatings? We will never know. However, given the high profile the group has achieved worldwide, one can logically conclude that the men swinging the whips did so knowing they were shielded by official impunity.

How Pussy Riot became the driving force behind what seems to be a growing resistance to Mr. Putin's dictatorial domestic conduct is vividly recounted in “Words Will Break Cement” by the talented Masha Gessen, a Russian-American journalist whose earlier works include “The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin.”

Members of the group cooperated in enabling Ms. Gesen to recount how their group came into being, how they developed their own version of “performance art,” and how they suffered for their outspokenness by sham Stalin-type political trials and cruel prison terms.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

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