“It was called, tellingly and absurdly, the War on Terror, an emotion all nations would like to declare war against if only that were possible. Instead, they waged war on the Muslims. It was always the Muslims.”
This is a line from the new book The Brothers: The Road To An American Tragedy by Masha Gessen. It is just one of many provocative statements Ms Gessen makes in a her deliberately thorough book about the Boston Marathon bombings. To better understand the sentence above and Masha Gessen’s raison d’être for writing The Brothers, digest her statement at the front of the book, “The pain inflicted by the Boston Marathon bombing was one of the few aspects of that act of terror that were immediately accident and certain. Such is the nature of the crime that hundreds of individuals and families will suffer loss and trauma for many years to come. This book, however is not about that pain. It is about something that, whatever evidence is unearthed, will never be entirely certain: it is about the tragedy that preceded the bombing, the reason that led to it, and its invisible victims”. Masha Gessen writes with an unbridled clarity that may surprise, if you are not familiar with her unwavering observant eye.
The award winning Russian-American author returns to Life Elsewhere to talk about her new book. Expect insights and details you’ll not hear anywhere else about the Tsarnaev brothers, the investigation and the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Masha Gessen’s knowledge of the Russian Federation, Chechnya, Kyrgyzstan and Dagestan was well-documented in her previous (and formidable) book,The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise Of Vladimir Putin. In The Brothers she uses the same persistent reporting, with the end result of inviting us to reconsider all we think we know about terrorism.
Life Elsewhere is now available at Soundcloud