Benjamin Nathans is Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He is completing To the Success of Our Hopeless Cause, a history of the Soviet dissident movement. (August 2017)


Russia: The Joyful New Activism

Protesters marching near the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, February 25, 2012. The poster on the left carries two slogans drawn from George Orwell’s 1984: ‘War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength,' and 'Two plus two equals five.'

Protest in Putin’s Russia

by Mischa Gabowitsch
Over a few weeks in March, more than 13 million Russians watched an unusual video online. Posted on March 2, the film documented, with stunning drone footage and scathing narration by the anticorruption activist Alexei Navalny, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s collection of marble-floored mansions, sprawling estates, luxurious yachts, and carefully …

The Real Power of Putin

Vladimir Putin

The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin

by Steven Lee Myers

Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia

by Anne Garrels
As Putin’s rule has turned more authoritarian and his foreign policy more aggressive, observers have been asking themselves whether something fundamental has shifted in his outlook, and if so, why.