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Vladimir Putin

Books on Vladimir Putin, Ruler of all the Russias
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The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
by Masha Gessen
Hardcover from Riverhead Books
Published: 2012-03-01
ISBN: 1594488428
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The Man Without a Face is the chilling account of how a low- level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.

Handpicked as a successor by the "family" surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin seemed like a perfect choice for the oligarchy to shape according to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had stood in the shadows, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and smashed the country's fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.

As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for The Man Without a Face she has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. Her account of how a "faceless" man maneuvered his way into absolute-and absolutely corrupt-power has the makings of a classic of narrative nonfiction.

by Chris Hutchins
Hardcover from Troubador Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 1780881142
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Intelligent books about Vladimir Putin have been few and far between because, of all the world leaders, the man his friends call 'Vlad' has managed to remain an enigma. This highly personal biography of Russia's leader is the result of six years' research by author Chris Hutchins, a successful investigative journalist and much-published biographer. His associate, Alexander Korobko, is a London-based Russian journalist and TV director. This book goes some way towards ending the enigma that is Vladimir Putin.
The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia
by Angus Roxburgh
Hardcover from I. B. Tauris
Published: 2012-02-28
ISBN: 1780760167
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Russia under Vladimir Putin has proved a prickly partner for the West, a far cry from the democratic ally many hoped for when the Soviet Union collapsed. Abroad, Putin has used Russia's energy strength as a foreign policy weapon, while at home he has cracked down on opponents, adamant that only he has the right vision for his country's future.

Former BBC Moscow correspondent Angus Roxburgh charts the dramatic fight for Russia's future under Vladimir Putin--how the former KGB man changed from reformer to autocrat; how he sought the West's respect but earned its fear; how he cracked down on his rivals at home and burnished a flamboyant personality cult, one day saving snow leopards or horseback riding bare-chested, the next tongue-lashing Western audiences. Drawing on dozens of exclusive interviews in Russia, where he worked as a Kremlin insider advising Putin on press relations, Roxburgh also argues that the West threw away chances to bring Russia in from the cold by failing to understand its fears and aspirations following the collapse of communism.

First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President
by Vladimir Putin, Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natalya Timakova, Andrei Kolesnikov
Paperback from PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1586480189
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Who is this Vladimir Putin? Who is this man who suddenly--overnight and without warning--was handed the reigns of power to one of the most complex, formidable, and volatile countries in the world? How can we trust him if we don't know him?
First Person is an intimate, candid portrait of the man who holds the future of Russia in his grip. An extraordinary compilation of over 24 hours of in-depth interviews and remarkable photographs, it delves deep into Putin's KGB past and explores his meteoric rise to power. No Russian leader has ever subjected himself to this kind of public examination of his life and views. Both as a spy and as a virtual political unknown until selected by Boris Yeltsin to be Prime Minister, Putin has been regarded as man of mystery. Now, the curtain lifts to reveal a remarkable life of struggles and successes. Putin's life story is of major importance to the world.The product of six interviews conducted by Russian journalists (and translated into English by Catherine A. Fitzpatrick), First Person is a book-length Q&A session in which Russian president Vladimir Putin discusses his childhood, his life as a spy, and his surprisingly rapid rise as a politician in the 1990s. Parts of this unusual autobiography are plainly banal (he weighs 165 pounds and likes beer), but interspersed throughout are candid comments by one of the world's most powerful men. Putin admits that he didn't know much about Stalin's violent purges in the 1930s when he joined the KGB ("I was a pure and utterly successful product of Soviet patriotic education"). He also scolds Soviet leaders for the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia during the cold war: "These were major mistakes. And the Russophobia that we see in Eastern Europe today is the fruit of those mistakes." At another point, he expresses frustration with some of the things critics have said about him: "Why have they made up so much about me? It's complete nonsense!" On the war in Chechnya, he is predictably defensive: "I was convinced that if we didn't stop the extremists right away, we'd be facing a second Yugoslavia on the entire territory of the Russian Federation--the Yugoslavization of Russia.... We are not attacking. We are defending ourselves." There's also an interview with his wife, who, when asked if her husband ever gets drunk, responds: "There hasn't been any of that." (After Yeltsin, this is apparently of concern to Russians.) The interviewers also ask her whether he ever looks at other women. She replies with a question of her own, intriguingly: "Well, what sort of man would he be, if he weren't attracted by beautiful women?" But Putin is, appropriately, the main show. Readers interested in Russian politics will want to review the final pages closely, as the president discourses on contemporary topics. Confronted with tough questions about Russia's treatment of a journalist who filed negative stories about Chechnya, Putin says, "We interpret freedom of expression in different ways." That's a KGB man talking--and yet another reason Putin is worth watching. --John J. Miller

Vladimir Putin and Russian Statecraft (Shapers of International History)
by Allen C. Lynch
Hardcover from Potomac Books Inc.
ISBN: 1597972983
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Since Russian leader Vladimir Putin assumed power in August 1999, speculation about his character, motives, and plans for Russia's future has been rampant in the West. A portrait of Putin has emerged in the West that is one-dimensional, ill informed, and diametrically opposed to the image of Putin the majority of Russians hold. Even after he stepped down as president in May 2008, retaining a significant measure of power as prime minister under his hand-picked successor, President Dmitri Medvedev, Putin remains poorly understood. In this interpretive biography of Putin, Allen C. Lynch seeks to reconcile the two conflicting images and find out just where the truth lies about the man and the statesman.
Westerners view Putin as an authoritarian holdover from the Soviet era who has clamped down on domestic opposition, freedom of the press, and other elements of a functioning democracy and who has relentlessly exerted Russian influence abroad, challenging the West and seeking to control its post-Soviet periphery. Most Russians, in contrast, are likely to be grateful to Putin for presiding over an economic recovery and reasserting Russian dignity on the world stage. A complete apprehension of the Russian leader, according to Lynch, requires an understanding of the way in which Putin's personal experiences and critical events in recent Russian history have shaped his outlook. Lynch convincingly demonstrates how a complex interplay of Russia's post-Soviet circumstances and the particular path of Putin's career have informed his choices as leader.
I, Putin: A Novel
by Jennifer Ciotta
Paperback from Jennifer\Ciotta
ISBN: 0615602525
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Gosha Golubev is the personal aide of President Vladimir Putin, who has been in power for twelve years in the Russian Federation. As Putin is re-elected for his third term as president, Gosha struggles with his role as boss' shadow. He has watched Putin evolve into the cold, stoic figure he is in 2012. But Gosha remembers the first few months of his first presidency, where an event shook Putin to his very core, nearly costing him the presidency and changing him into the leader the world knows today. As Putin dictates his memoirs in first person to Gosha, the event reveals itself: It is August 12, 2000. Putin is the president of Russia. To commemorate the anniversary of his father's death, he journeys to Narva, Estonia to unravel the elder's mysterious World War II past. As he begins his journey, an unexpected crisis rocks the Russian Federation. Explosions rip through the prized submarine of the Russia navy, the Kursk. 118 sailors are now in a fight for their lives, trapped in a steel crypt. Putin returns to Moscow, where violent protesters await him and cause him to flee. He is now a man on the run and Russia is in complete chaos with a looming threat of a shift in power. Will Putin save the sailors and take back his beloved Russia, or will he end up as he started-alone and powerless?
Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia
by Marshall I. Goldman
Paperback from Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195398637
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In the aftermath of the financial collapse of August 1998, it looked as if Russia's day as a superpower had come and gone. That it should recover and reassert itself after less than a decade is nothing short of an economic and political miracle.
Based on extensive research, including several interviews with Vladimir Putin, this revealing book chronicles Russia's dramatic reemergence on the world stage, illuminating the key reason for its rebirth: the use of its ever-expanding energy wealth to reassert its traditional great power ambitions. In his deft, informative narrative, Marshall Goldman traces how this has come to be, and how Russia is using its oil-based power as a lever in world politics. The book provides an informative overview of oil in Russia, traces Vladimir Putin's determined effort to reign in the upstart oil oligarchs who had risen to power in the post-Soviet era, and describes Putin's efforts to renationalize and refashion Russia's industries into state companies and his vaunted "national champions" corporations like Gazprom, largely owned by the state, who do the bidding of the state. Goldman shows how Russia paid off its international debt and has gone on to accumulate the world's third largest holdings of foreign currency reserves--all by becoming the world's largest producer of petroleum and the world's second largest exporter. Today, Vladimir Putin and his cohort have stabilized the Russian economy and recentralized power in Moscow, and fossil fuels (oil and natural gas) have made it all possible.
The story of oil and gas in Russia is a tale of discovery, intrigue, corruption, wealth, misguidance, greed, patronage, nepotism, and power. Marshall Goldman tells this story with panache, as only one of the world's leading authorities on Russia could.
Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy
by Anna Politkovskaya
Paperback from Holt Paperbacks
Published: 2007-01-09
ISBN: 0805082506
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hoursA searing portrait of a country in disarray, and of the man at its helm, from "the bravest of journalists" (The New York Times)Hailed as "a lone voice crying out in a moral wilderness" (New Statesman), Anna Politkovskaya made her name with her fearless reporting on the war in Chechnya. Now she turns her steely gaze on the multiple threats to Russian stability, among them President Putin himself. 
Putin's Russia depicts a far-reaching state of decay. Politkovskaya describes an army in which soldiers die from malnutrition, parents must pay bribes to recover their dead sons' bodies, and conscripts are even hired out as slaves. She exposes rampant corruption in business, government, and the judiciary, where everything from store permits to bus routes to court appointments is for sale. And she offers a scathing condemnation of the ongoing war in Chechnya, where kidnappings, extrajudicial killings, rape, and torture are begetting terrorism rather than fighting it. 
Sounding an urgent alarm, Putin's Russia is both a gripping portrayal of a country in crisis and the testament of a great and intrepid reporter.
Putin and the Rise of Russia
by Michael Stuermer
Paperback from Pegasus

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An expert contemporary history of Vladimir Putin and Russia's resurgent role in world affairs.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, the world was left wondering about its destiny. In spite of the losses incurred, Russia is still a power with vast military inventories and an energy giant whose oil reserves will last, at present rates of exploitation, for more than 30 years, and with natural gas for more than 180 years. Questions abound as to what constitutes Russia's national interest, especially now, as a result of the conflict in South Ossetia. With Vladimir Putin no longer president, many Russians fear instability and insecurity. But the outside world, too, keeps wondering what will happen next. It is a defining moment for Russia, with far-reaching implications for the rest of the world.
Michael Stuermer has observed at close quarters the former president as he steered his country out of the chaos of the post-Yeltsin years. his authoritative new history of modern Russia considers the future for a country striving to be, once again, a great power with global reach.


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