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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

Russian Opposition leader Alexei Navalny's memoir 'Patriot' promises to inspire others

Titled 'Patriot,' the memoir will be published in the United States by Knopf on October 22, with a first printing of half a million copies and a simultaneous release in multiple countries

Sergey Ponomarev Published 12.04.24, 03:24 PM
Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, in Moscow, Aug. 2, 2013. Knopf will publish his posthumous memoir, “Patriot,” in October 2024.

Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, in Moscow, Aug. 2, 2013. Knopf will publish his posthumous memoir, “Patriot,” in October 2024. Sergey Ponomarev/The New York Times

During the years leading up to his death in a Russian prison, Alexei Navalny, the Russian Opposition leader, was writing a memoir about his life and work as a pro-democracy activist.

Titled “Patriot,” the memoir will be published in the United States by Knopf on Oct. 22, with a first printing of half a million copies and a simultaneous release in multiple countries.

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Navalny, who rose to global prominence as a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, resisted the Kremlin’s repeated attempts to silence him through physical harm, arrests and imprisonment in a remote Arctic penal colony, where he died in February at 47.

The book, telling his story in his own words, comes as a final show of defiance, his widow, Yulia Navalnaya, said in a statement, and could have a galvanizing effect on his followers.

“This book is a testament not only to Alexei’s life, but to his unwavering commitment to the fight against dictatorship — a fight he gave everything for, including his life,” Navalnaya said. “Through its pages, readers will come to know the man I loved deeply — a man of profound integrity and unyielding courage. Sharing his story will not only honor his memory but also inspire others to stand up for what is right and to never lose sight of the values that truly matter.”

In a news release, Knopf said that the memoir “expresses Navalny’s total conviction that change cannot be resisted and will come.”

Navalny wrote the entire memoir himself, dictating some parts, and Navalnaya is working with the publisher to edit and finalize the manuscript, according to a Knopf representative. The book has already been translated into 11 languages, Navalnaya wrote on the social platform X, and a Russian-language edition of the book will be available.

Navalny began working on his memoir in 2020, after surviving a near-fatal poisoning with a nerve agent, an attack that Western intelligence officials believed was a state-sponsored assassination attempt. The book covers his youth, his rise as a political activist, his marriage and family, his political career as an opposition leader, and the attempts on his life and attacks on those close to him, according to the publisher.

The New York Times News Service

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