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Joshua Yaffa in conversation with Amanda Silverman

February 3, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm PST

front cover of Between Two Fires

The Bindery hosts Joshua Yaffa for his new book Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putins Russia. He’ll be in conversation with Mother Jones editorial director Amanda Silverman. Please join us!

Please noteThis is a ticketed event, to be held at The Bindery (1727 Haight St.). The price of admission may be applied, at the event, toward the purchase of Between Two Fires, or to a beverage at The Bindery’s bar. Advance tickets are highly encouraged — tickets are not guaranteed to be available at the door.

“Unforgettable . . . This is a book about Putin’s Russia that is unlike any other.” – Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Say Nothing

In this rich and novelistic tour of contemporary Russia, Joshua Yaffa introduces readers to some of the country’s most remarkable figures — from politicians and entrepreneurs to artists and historians — who have built their careers and constructed their identities in the shadow of the Putin system. Torn between their own ambitions and the omnipresent demands of the state, each walks an individual path of compromise. Some muster cunning and cynicism to extract all manner of benefits and privileges from those in power. Others, finding themselves to be less adept, are left broken and demoralized. What binds them together is the tangled web of dilemmas and contradictions they face.

Between Two Fires chronicles the lives of a number of strivers who understand that their dreams are best — or only — realized through varying degrees of cooperation with the Russian government. With sensitivity and depth, Yaffa profiles the director of the country’s main television channel, an Orthodox priest at war with the church hierarchy, a Chechen humanitarian who turns a blind eye to persecutions, and many others. The result is an intimate and probing portrait of a nation that is much discussed yet little understood. By showing how citizens shape their lives around the demands of a capricious and frequently repressive state — as often by choice as under threat of force — Yaffa offers urgent lessons about the true nature of modern authoritarianism.

Joshua Yaffa by Max AvdeevJoshua Yaffa is a correspondent for The New Yorker in Moscow. For his work in Russia, he has been named a fellow at New America, a recipient of the American Academy’s Berlin Prize, and a finalist for the Livingston Award. Author photo by Max Avdeev.

Amanda Silverman author photo, courtesy of the authorAmanda Silverman is the editorial director (newsroom) based in Mother Jones San Francisco office. Before joining Mother Jones, Amanda worked as a story editor for Foreign Policy’s print magazine. Prior to that, she was the deputy editor of The New Republic.

** Please note **

– This event will be held at The Bindery, 1727 Haight.

– This is an all-ages event.

– The duration of this event is up to the author.

– Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

– Should you decide to purchase Between Two Fires at the event, you can apply the cost of your ticket toward the price of the book. You may instead choose to apply the cost of your ticket toward a drink at The Bindery’s bar.

– Accessibility is important to us! Please let us know in advance if you have any special needs and we will do our absolute best to accommodate you: events@booksmith.com.

– Facebook RSVP is appreciated, but not required.


February 3, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm PST
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The Booksmith
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The Bindery
1727 Haight St
San Francisco , 94117 United States
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