Nov. 12, 2014
First Parish Church in Cambridge
3 Church Street Cambridge, MA 02138
Masha Gessen, journalist and author
Russian-American journalist, author, and LGBT activist Masha Gessen voluntarily left Russia last year when tightening anti-gay and lesbian policies threatened her family. Her account of Vladimir Putin's rise to power and its devastating impact on the nascent democratic government of Russia (The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin) opened a window onto changing culture of Russia as well as the nature of its powerful and enigmatic leader. Her newest book, Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot, recounts the arrest, trial, and imprisonment of Pussy Riot. What do Gessen's experience and insights tell us about Russia today? How might this new understanding change America's international policies?