Book review: Mary McAuley, Human Rights in Russia: Citizens and the State from Perestroika to Putin, I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd., London, New York, 2015, 353 pp
The book under review is written in a remarkable diarist style that reflects the author’s memoirs, observations, and analyses of Russia’s recent human- rights history, substantiated by valuable references to the opinions of Russian rights activists (pravozashchitniki). Mary McAuley prefers to abstain both from theoretical and political speculations, sharing with readers her direct experi- ence of cooperation with rights activists and, wisely, leaving it to readers to judge whether the actual human-rights situation in Russia is the result of poor government or of certain deeper societal and cultural factors. The book also provides an accurate account of milestones in the history of human rights in Russia and a keen evaluation of the cultural and institutional obstacles for the human-rights movement in the country.