Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the West

Walter Laqueur. St. Martin%E2%80%99s/Dunne, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-06475-2
Veteran foreign affairs writer Laqueur (After the Fall) provides an incisive look at recent Russian history and Vladimir Putin’s role in it, a topic that could hardly be more timely given recent events in Ukraine. Laqueur makes the depressing observation that the KGB, and even Stalin himself, have been rehabilitated in Russian public opinion, and he doesn’t offer much hope for an imminent change in direction for the country’s policy or political culture. According to him, “Russia has given up attempts to become part of the West,” which most Russians view as being “in retreat.” The most intriguing section is a chapter entitled “The Pillars of the New Russian Idea,” which takes a multidimensional look at the forces shaping the country today. Readers hoping for specific predictions will be disappointed, though Laqueur is grimly convincing in lowering expectations that Russia will become genuinely democratic any time soon. This thorough examination of all aspects of modern Russian society and culture makes an excellent addition to recent literature on Putin-era Russia. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/20/2015
Release date: 06/30/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4668-7106-9
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