Those of you familiar with The Man Without a Face by Masha Gessen are often perplexed by her portrayal of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Is Putin that much of a villain, or is he completely misunderstood by the West? According to Gessen, he’s the devil, and according to me, there’s no use in demonizing Putin if you want to understand his mindset.
I, Putin delves into the pysche of Russia’s leader. Why does he do such controversial things, and why does he seem not to care about public opinion around the world? To outsiders, it may seem like Putin is a cold dictator, but in his head, there’s reasoning, which stems from his judo and KGB days. To understand Putin, you need to understand his background, his youth, who he is as a whole person. You must go beyond the Westernized image of him and discover what makes him tick. This is what my novel does: helps you view Putin as an enitre person.
Though I do not agree with everything Putin does, I do think we, as Westerners, must try to listen to and understand his purpose. He says he serves Russia. I believe he believes that. With controversial topics, such as anti-gay propaganda, banning international adoption, and seizing more potential control of the Internet, I do not agree with these policies; however, I know there’s a reason for each decision. And these decisions emanate from the Kursk tragedy in the year 2000, Putin’s first crisis in office. That’s why I centered this novel around the Kursk submarine disaster, in order to explain Putin’s mindset for the decisions he made then and continues to make now.
Reading I, Putin will help eliminate the enigma that encompasses Putin. He’s a man, after all, a man trying to run a country. Isn’t it better to understand his reasoning, than making assumptions and villifying him?
If you’d like to know more about this leader than what mainstream media and other nonfiction books assume about Vladimir Putin, including Gessen’s, I suggest you read this novel for an enlightening and unique perspective. Once you do, you’ll never look at Putin the same way again.