Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible
Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible Book Cover Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible
Peter Pomerantsev
Non-Fiction
PublicAffairs
November 11, 2014
256

From the Publisher:

"In the new Russia, even dictatorship is a reality show.

Professional killers with the souls of artists, would-be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, suicidal supermodels, Hell’s Angels who hallucinate themselves as holy warriors, and oligarch revolutionaries: welcome to the glittering, surreal heart of twenty-first-century Russia. It is a world erupting with new money and new power, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality, home to a form of dictatorship—far subtler than twentieth-century strains—that is rapidly rising to challenge the West."

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

Alicia Wanless

La Generalista is the online identity of Alicia Wanless – a researcher and practitioner of strategic communications for social change in a Digital Age. Alicia researches how we shape — and are shaped — by a changing information space. As the Director of Strategic Communications at The SecDev Foundation, Alicia develops campaigns and strategies for engaging beneficiaries in outreach and behavioural change. Her work includes developing a training program that deals with verifying information and the spread of content online, and has supported projects in the Middle East, Vietnam and the post-Soviet space.

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