Audiobooks from the Experts: Ukraine and Russia
Audiobooks from the Experts: Ukraine and Russia

For those seeking contextualized information on Ukraine, Russia, Putin, authoritarianism, and the rise of anti-democratic movements, here is a selection of audiobooks by historians and awarding-winning journalists.

Acclaimed historian Timothy Snyder’s #1 New York Times bestseller On Tyranny will be published in an expanded edition that provides the historical background, decodes the propaganda, and explains the significance of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and of Ukrainian resistance. On Tyranny: Expanded Audiobook Edition, narrated by the author, is available exclusively as an audiobook, and includes more than eight hours of new content recorded in response to the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine. A historian of eastern Europe, Snyder explains the connections between events in Russia and Ukraine and the threats to democracy here in the United States. With forays into distant and more recent history, he clarifies both the causes and the stakes of the present war.

Author: Masha Gessen
Read By: Masha Gessen

The Man Without a Face is the chilling account of how a low-level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress. As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for The Man Without a Face, has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. Gessen’s account of how a “faceless” man maneuvered his way into absolute—and absolutely corrupt—power is the definitive biography of Vladimir Putin.

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain, Red Famine is a history of one of Stalin’s greatest crimes: when he set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry by sealing Ukraine’s borders and seizing all available food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century, and foreshadows a new threat to the political order in the twenty-first as Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, has placed Ukrainian independence in its sights once more.

Author: Ben Rhodes
Read By: Ben Rhodes

Why is democracy so threatened in America and around the world, and what can we do about it? Part memoir and part reportage, After the Fall is an essential work of discovery. In his travels, Ben Rhodes comes to realize how much America’s fingerprints are on a world we helped to shape, where we have gone wrong, and how essential it is to fight for what we’re supposed to be.

Author: Masha Gessen
Read By: Masha Gessen

Award-winning journalist Masha Gessen’s understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled. In The Future Is History, Gessen follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy, and charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and the reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.

In Twilight of Democracy, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Anne Applebaum raises the alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West, and explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay on audio, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else. Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.

Coming in April 2022. Since 2000, self-styled strongmen have risen to power in capitals as diverse as Moscow, Beijing, Delhi, Brasilia, Budapest, Ankara, Riyadh and Washington. What’s more, these leaders are not just operating in authoritarian political systems but have begun to emerge in the heartlands of liberal democracy. Award-winning journalist Gideon Rachman pays full attention to the strongman phenomenon around the world and uncovers the complex and often surprising interaction between these leaders.