A brilliant analysis of Putin and the key role a resurgent Russia has to play in world affairs.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, the world was left wondering about its destiny. Russia is still an enormous power with a population exceeding 140 million, immense military resources and giant energy reserves - in short, a vast land full of promise and opportunity.
Russia has the potential to be a force of stability or a force of turmoil, but when it comes to global affairs, can she be persuaded to join the world order? Will yesterday's revolutionary power become tomorrow's stabilizer?
Professor Stuermer's authoritative and timely account considers a Russia going through a defining phase after the departure of Vladimir Putin. History is on the move: we face an open and challenging future in which Russia, for better or for worse, will play a key role.
Historian Stuermer attempts to shed light on Vladimir Putin's 2000 2008 presidency and his vision for a new Russia in this thorough but poorly organized and overly complex book. Putin is a man from nowhere, an understated and effective KGB agent turned city administrator who moved from near-anonymity to the presidency in a few years. Putin is portrayed as both insider and outsider, but untrammeled by the political infighting and corruption of the post-Soviet Russian political machine. He quickly showed his mettle: revitalizing Russian industry, upgrading a decaying military and shifting top positions from the hands of career bureaucrats to former intelligence officers, producing a government of unparalleled obscurity. This book could have been an invaluable guide for Americans post-Soviet Russia remains a major global force yet is woefully misunderstood by Westerners complacent after winning the cold war. But basic facts about Putin and post-Soviet Russia are glossed over, leaving the layperson to wade through a labyrinth of unfamiliar names, government agencies and corporations. Readers who manage to make sense of all this will find that the author's analyses of Russia's changing demographics, its status as a nuclear power and the future of its petroleum-based economy insightful and, often, troubling.