Putin Russia's Choice
The new edition of this extremely well-received political biography of Vladimir Putin builds on the strengths of the first edition to provide the most detailed and nuanced account of the man, his politics and his profound influence on Russian politics, foreign policy and society. New to this edition:
- analysis of Putin's second term as President
- more biographical information in the light of recent research
- detailed discussion of changes to the policy process and the élites around Putin
- developments in state-society relations including the conflicts with oligarchs such as Khodorkovsky
- review of changes affecting the party system and electoral legislation, including the development of federalism in Russia
- details on economic performance under Putin, including more discussion of the energy sector and pipeline politics
- Russia’s relationship with NATO after the ‘big bang’ enlargement, EU-Russian relations after enlargement, and Russia’s relations with other post-Soviet states
- the conclusion brings us up-to-date with debates over the question of democracy in Russia today and the nature of Putin’s leadership and his place in the world.
Putin is essential reading for all scholars and students of Russian politics.
'Richard Sakwa’s Putin: Russia’s Choice is the best book in English on Putin’s presidency by one of the world’s leading authorities on contemporary Russian politics. Sakwa’s analysis of Putin is sympathetic but he is not blind to the many problems and failures that have marred Russia’s progress away from the chaos of the Yeltsin era. Sakwa cuts through the hype of the pro- and anti-Putin camps to weigh up both the degradation of democracy under Putin and the possibilities for democratic evolution. Importantly, as the end of Putin’s second presidential term nears, Sakwa allows us a glimpse of how Russia might develop beyond Putin and, perhaps, without him.' - Neil Robinson, University of Limerick, Ireland
'Richard Sakwa's latest book is the best short text in print on Russian politics in the Putin era. It presents Putin as a Jacobin state builder and on the whole as an effective reformer, but does not spare criticism or analysis of Putin's and Russia's many contradictions. I cannot think of a better starting point for understanding Russian and Eurasian politics in the second post-communist decade.' - Timothy Colton, Harvard University, USA
'In this second edition of his classic analysis of Putin’s Russia, Richard Sakwa again challenges those who are too quick and willing to condemn the Soviet president as anti-democratic and a traditional autocratic Russian leader. Sakwa writes in his usual deceptive style – his prose is clear and might initially appear straightforward, but in fact conveys highly sophisticated and complex arguments. This book will not appeal to simplistic souls who want to see the world in black-and-white, ‘good guys and bad guys’ terms. Rather, it will attract those who can handle complexity and contradictions – the reality of politics, whether in Russia or anywhere else. And it will appeal to those who want a deeper understanding of the leader of one of the world’s most significant states, one that is becoming increasingly influential again in world affairs.' - Leslie Holmes, University of Melbourne, Australia
'The main accomplishment of this book is that it sheds much light on the rationale behind Putin’s policies, in part by deviating from more conventional explanations that assume the authoritarian nature of political development in Russia. Besides, the book is a rich source of factual information about the Putin years—so far. Since the Putin era appears to be far from over, even when a formal shift of power has occurred, this will remain an important textbook for many years to come.' - Max Bader, Europe-Asia Studies