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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review: Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen

Title: Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot
Author: Masha Gessen
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: January 8, 2014
Source: Library






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "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."


My Two Cents:

"Words Will Break Cement" is the story of Pussy Riot, a all-female punk band in Russia who dares to protest against Vladmir Putin, the Russian establishment, and the Russian government in a church. This gets some of the members sent to work camps and ignites passion for freedom of speech around the world. This book is by Masha Gessen, an author who whose previous work centers mostly on Russia. I have really enjoyed some of her previous work and was excited to see how she took on the subject of Pussy Riot.. For many of us, it's hard to imagine getting punished for protesting. It happens but it seems to be much less severe thann it is in places like Russia. Gessen covers the events leading up to the protest and the women behind the protest.

This book is utterly fascinating from the perspective that it's really interesting to see women protesting in Russia. The episode with Pussy Riot opened up Russia to a lot of criticism both at home and abroad. While this marks the first time that Pussy Riot had ever sparked international headlines, the group and its members had been shaking things up for a long time in Russia through their music and their art. It was interesting to hear the history behind each of the women that were involved in the protest and their reasons for protesting even if it meant being punished to the point where they wouldn't be able to see their friends or family for long periods of time.

This book feels very much like long form journalism, which I love. It will be interesting to others who are interested in freedom of speech and international events!


 

1 comment:

  1. Great title. Made me come on over and check it out. Glad it was a great book too. Can't imagine how scary that would be...not knowing what would happen.

    sherry @ fundinmental

    ReplyDelete

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