Michael is the associate publisher at The Awl network.

“Earlier this week, Vladislav Surkov—also known by his nickname, the ‘gray cardinal’—resigned (i.e. was fired) from his position as a leading cabinet official in Medvedev’s government. As a character, Surkov is endlessly fascinating. On one hand he’s a ruthless political operator whose genius maneuvers have drawn comparisons to Machiavelli. On the other he’s a master ironist who has turned Russia in to his own ‘postmodern theatre’.  This October 2011 profile by Peter Pomerantsev in The London Review of Books is easily one of the best things written about him and the strange state of Russian politics in general. Pomerantsev beautifully weaves together fragments of Surkov’s personal biography with broader cultural observations to make deep points about power politics in Russia. I really, really enjoyed this piece and I hope you do too.”


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