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A collection of final dispatches by the famed journalist, including the first translation of the work that may have led to her murder. Anna Politkovskaya won international fame for her courageous reporting. Is Journalism Worth Dying For? is a long-awaited collection of her final writing. Beginning with a brief introduction by the author about her pariah status, the book contains essays that characterize the self-effacing Politkovskaya more fully than she allowed in her other books. From deeply personal statements about the nature of journalism, to horrendous reports from Chechnya, to sensitive pieces of memoir, to, finally, the first translation of the series of investigative reports that Politkovskaya was working on at the time of her murder--pieces many believe led to her assassination. Elsewhere, there are illuminating accounts of encounters with leaders including Lionel Jospin, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and such exiled figures as Boris Berezovsky, Akhmed Zakaev, Vladimir Bukovsky. Additional sections collect Politkovskaya's non political writing, revealing her delightful wit, deep humanity, and willingness to engage with the unfamiliar, as well as her deep regrets about the fate of Russia.
A devastating account of contemporary Russia by a great and brave writer. A Russian Diary is the book that Anna Politkovskaya had recently completed when she was murdered in a contract killing in Moscow. It covers the period from the Russian elections of December 2003 to the tragic aftermath of the Beslan school siege in late 2005. The book is an unflinching record of the plight of millions of Russians and a pitiless report on the cynicism and corruption of Vladimir Putin's presidency. She interviews people whose lives have been devastated by Putin's policies, including the mothers of children who died in the Beslan siege, those of Russian soldiers maimed in Chechnya then abandoned by the State, and of "disappeared" young men and women. Elsewhere she meets traumatized and dangerous veterans of the Chechen wars, and a notorious Chechen warlord in his fortified lair. Putin is re-elected as President in farcically undemocratic circumstances and yet Western leaders, reliant on Russia's oil and gas reserves, continue to pay him homage. Politkovskaya offers a chilling account of his dismantling of the democratic reforms made in the 1990s. She also criticizes the inability of liberals and democrats to provide a united, effective opposition and a population slow to protest against government legislative outrages. A Russian Diary is clear-sighted, passionate and marked with the humanity that made Anna Politkovskaya known to many as "Russia's lost moral conscience" and a heroine to readers throughout the world.
Chechnya, a 6,000-square-mile corner of the northern Caucasus, has struggled under Russian domination for centuries. The region declared its independence in 1991, leading to a brutal war, Russian withdrawal, and subsequent "governance" by bandits and warlords. A series of apartment building attacks in Moscow in 1999, allegedly orchestrated by a rebel faction, reignited the war, which continues to rage today. Russia has gone to great lengths to keep journalists from reporting on the conflict; consequently, few people outside the region understand its scale and the atrocities--described by eyewitnesses as comparable to those discovered in Bosnia--committed there.
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