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Dissidents among Dissidents


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How have the fall of the USSR and the long dominance of Putin reshaped Russian politics and culture?

About the Author

Ilya Budraitskis writes regularly on politics, art, film and philosophy for e-flux journal, openDemocracy, LeftEast, Colta.ru and other outlets, and teaches at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and the Institute of Contemporary Art Moscow. The Russian edition of his essay collection Dissidents among Dissidents was awarded the prestigious Andrei Bely prize in 2017.


Budraitskis magnificently dismantles several myths. This includes the myth that the entire socialist past can be reduced to the idea of 'totalitarianism', and the myth that Russian society is divided in two, between liberals who love freedom and the masses, mired in tradition and thirsting for despotic rule. -- Alexei Yurchak, author of Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More
A deep analysis of contemporary Russian reality which deftly dismantles the many myths in which that reality is shrouded. Budraitskis's writings deal with several themes and periods, but common to them all is a sensitivity to the details of the context and a capacity to question dogmatic certainties. The texts are beautifully written, in a clear, precise, and stylistically fine-tuned prose. This extremely important collection allows us to look at Russian and many other post-socialist societies from a new standpoint. -- Alexei Yurchak, author of Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More
Ilya Budraitskis brings immense historical knowledge, moral clarity, and political insight into these crucial essays on twenty-first century Russia. From his critical analyses of Russian culture wars and the "geopoliticization of Russia" to his path-breaking history of socialist dissidence and contemporary Left discontent, Budraitskis proves an adroit guide through the post-Soviet landscape. He directs us not simply to persistent authoritarianism and reaction but also to the unrealized political alternatives that remain to be activated by Left anti-capitalists today. -- Jodi Dean. author of Comrade
Ilya Budraitskis is a gifted writer- non-conformist, insightful, sharp and polemical. Essays collected in this volume succeed to challenge both liberal and illiberal cliches about Putin's Russia. -- Ivan Krastev, author of Is It Tomorrow Yet?
Refusing the neo-Cold War nonsense that depicts Putin's Russia as an anti-imperialist bulwark or a reincarnation of Stalin's empire, Ilya Budraitskis has more important things to think about than this confected Clash of Civilisations. Whether uncovering the forgotten socialists among the Soviet-era dissident movement or tracing the emergence of a true post-Soviet left into the present day, his work is sophisticated, invigorating and ethically rigorous. -- Owen Hatherley

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