What La Generalista has to say:

Pomerantsev’s book is certainly an entertaining and compelling read. Very well written, the narrative is easy to follow and engaging.

This is not, however, an objective view of Russia, but a perspective that draws from specific examples of what individuals have suffered in the country. In short, the arguments are very anecdotal.

“Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible” showcases particular shortcomings in the system and paints a bleak picture of existence in Russia that infects the reader with a nagging paranoia of the sort that encourages foreigners to fear being caught not carrying a passport when out for a walk in Moscow or elsewhere (I have never been asked for documents on the street when visiting Russia, but now obsess about carrying the – thanks, Peter).

This is not to say that the contents of the book are untrue – just that the overt bias of the author might degrade the messages he attempts to convey. The unwillingness of Russian media to cover tragedy could be as much an issue with ratings, as it is elsewhere in the world. It would be interesting to read Pomerantsev’s perspective on, say, American media in a similar context.

Regardless, Pomerantsev is a talented author. This book is well worth the read, but should be taken with the caveat that it has a definite slant against away from Russian favour.

“Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible” can be purchased at Amazon.


About Author

La Generalista is the online identity of Alicia Wanless – a researcher and practitioner of strategic communications for social change in a Digital Age. Alicia is the director of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. With a growing international multi-stakeholder community, the Partnership aims to foster evidence-based policymaking to counter threats within the information environment. Wanless is currently a PhD Researcher at King’s College London exploring how the information environment can be studied in similar ways to the physical environment. She is also a pre-doctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, and was a tech advisor to Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder. Her work has been featured in Lawfare, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, and CBC.

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