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Freedom of Speech in Russia : Politics and Media from Gorbachev to Putin (Hardcover) (Daphne Skillen)
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This book traces the development of free speech in the Soviet Union and Russia from the beginning of perestroika to the present day. It shows how long-standing hopes for an open society in which people would speak freely were raised following the break up of the Soviet Union, how free speech was one of the indisputable achievements of Yeltsin's years in power, but how it was relatively easy for Putin to bring free speech under control again and start the gradual but relentless reversal of the freedoms which had been won in earlier years. The book considers why this should have happened, examining the historical legacy and Russia's culturally ambivalent perception of freedom, and analysing journalists' own behaviour, raising questions of whether journalists have been complicit in the destruction of their own profession, accepting material benefits and "a good life" in exchange for "freeedom", and whether the media ever fully understood what was involved in the practice of free speech.