Best and worst books about Russia

Discussion in 'Russian Politics' started by john smith, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. john smith

    john smith Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

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    Looking at some books about Russia and Putin in Amazon and as you can image most seem to be negative.

    Cold Peace: Russia's New Imperialism [Hardcover]
    [​IMG]

    It has an endorsement from Zbignew Brezinski so it must be good. ;)

    Publication Date: November 30, 2004 | ISBN-10: 0275983625 | ISBN-13: 978-0275983628

    The Russian regime under President Vladimir Putin has embarked on a coherent long-term strategy to regain its influence over former satellites and to limit Western penetration in key parts of this region. Moscow is intent on steadily rebuilding Russia as a major power on the Eurasian stage and will use its neighbors as a springboard for expanding its dominance. In this first systematic analysis detailing Russia's post-Cold War imperialism, Bugajski challenges the contemporary equivalent of Cold War appeasement, which views Russia as a benign and pragmatic power that seeks cooperation and integration with the West.


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    The Russian regime under President Vladimir Putin has embarked on a coherent long-term strategy to regain its influence over former satellites and to limit Western penetration in key parts of this region. Moscow is intent on steadily rebuilding Russia as a major power on the Eurasian stage and will use its neighbors as a springboard for expanding its dominance. In this first systematic analysis detailing Russia's post-Cold War imperialism, Bugajski challenges the contemporary equivalent of Cold War appeasement, which views Russia as a benign and pragmatic power that seeks cooperation and integration with the West.</p></div>

    Editorial Reviews
    Review
    "Endorsement from Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US National Security Advisor to the Carter Administration: This important and timely book will be a revelatory shock to most readers. It exposes vividly what has been ignored by most U.S. policy makers, from the White House down: namely, that Russia's policies towards the countries of the former Soviet Bloc are still being influenced by an ominously imperialist nostalgia. I know of no other work which so effectively combines analysis with hitherto unknown and highly sensitive data.

    Book Description
    Examines the evidence for Russian expansionism in all parts of Eastern Europe, analyzes Moscow's objectives and strategies, and outlines measures for ensuring the region's commitment to democracy and Western integration.

    Has anybody read any good books about Russia?

    I have only actually read one and that was not about terrorism in Chechnya that was a bit spartan in regards to information but at least one of a very few books to actually focus exclusively on the issue.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  2. owenpolley

    owenpolley Gubernial Secretary (12th class)

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    Richard Sakwa - Putin: Russia's Choice, and The Crisis of Russian Democracy are two of the best books about contemporary Russian politics that I've read. The latter isn't anywhere nearly as negative as it sounds.

    I've just finished the latest edition of Russia's Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity in National Identity by Andrei P Tsygankov. It is essentially a text-book and it does include some of the more irritating aspects of academic writing. However it is also a fair-minded summary of how Russia has formed foreign policy over the years and, in particular, how it has been shaped by attitudes in the West.

    As for the worst, that's probably a far longer list in the English language. I still don't think anything can match that 'bit of a loon', Edward Lucas, and his hilarious The New Cold War. Although the BBC journalist and presenter, Jonathan Dimbleby, came close with the pretentiously titled Russia: A Journey to the Heart of a Land and its People, which accompanied an equally torrid television series.

    Suffice to say, I think Dimbleby was in the middle of some manner of nervous breakdown during his visit. He finds everything dark and depressing, thinks every Russian is unhappy, even when they 'appear' to be having a good time. He even compares the girls to buildings on Nevsky Prospekt - 'beautiful facades, but with a void behind their vacant eyes' or words to that effect. Probably the most patronising book I've ever read.

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