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Joshua Yaffa on Between Two Fires: Putin’s Russia in Bath

Thursday 30th June

  • Venue The Bookshop, Friends Meeting House, York Street, Bath, BA1 1NG
  • Doors open 7pm
  • Start time 7.30pm
Image of Joshua Yaffa on Between Two Fires: Putin’s Russia

Joshua Yaffa is a correspondent for The New Yorker in Moscow, where he has lived for the last eight years.

Yaffa has been a fellow at the New America foundation, a finalist for the Livingston Award, a visiting scholar at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, and a grantee of the Pulitzer Centre for Crisis Reporting. He’s the author of Between Two Fires: Truth, Compromise, and Ambition in Putin’s Russia which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing.

Yaffa joins us to shed his unparalleled insight into Putin’s Russia, a much discussed but little understood nation and the nature of modern authoritarianism.

For Between Two Fires, Yaffa met with a variety of Russians – from politicians and entrepreneurs to artists and historians – who have built their careers and constructed their identities in the shadow of the Putin system. Torn between their own ambitions and the omnipresent demands of the state, each has found that compromise is essential for survival and success. Yaffa’s work is an intimate and probing portrait of a nation much discussed but little understood, and an urgent lesson about the nature of modern authoritarianism.

“Exquisitely crafted… [Yaffa’s] skilled, self- reflective reportage is so fair that it surfaces a different lesson about Russian liberals’ incomprehension of ideological complexity, efficacy, or compromise as a force of good, not just evil…. Joshua Yaffa humanely elucidates how the universal phenomenon of moral compromise differs in Russia because the state looms so large” ~ TLS

“Few journalists have penetrated so deep and with so much nuance into the moral ambiguities of Russia. If you want insight into the deeper distortions the Kremlin causes in people’s psyches this book is invaluable.” ~ Peter Pomerantsev