Sandy's Reviews > Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the End of Revolution

Kremlin Rising by Susan Glasser
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Nov 28, 10

A revealing and provocative look at the developments going on in post-Soviet Russia under Vladimir Putin. As an aspiring scholar of Russia myself, I was strongly impressed with the depth of the disturbing trends revealed by Baker and Glasser in this book. The pair demonstrate the crackdown on democracy and free speech, the brutality of the war in Chechnya, the disturbing realities of the health and legal systems and the corruption rife in contemporary society in, at times, disturbing detail.

The book shows a Russia which is resurgent on the international stage but decaying from the inside out in terms of political institutions and public well-being, and shows a government increasingly willing to explicitly lie to and deceive its own people for the sake of political expediency.

A very readable book, I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in what's going on in Russia today and how Putin's leadership, for good or ill, has transformed Russian society.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Ciotta Sandy, that's exciting that you're a Russian scholar as well. So am I. I liked this book, but it's merely one view of Putin. May I suggest my novel "I, Putin" in which I tackle the man behind Russia in a unique, unprecedented perspective. As a scholar, you may enjoy reading a different view. Best wishes, Jennifer Ciotta

Sandy It's interesting to me how different my perspective was on this book when I read it a couple years ago than it is now. While many of the trends described in the book still hold true today, having gained greater understanding and perspective of Russia in particular and the CIS region generally, I've come to believe many of the issues outlined therein are somewhat overblown, as often is the case with Western depictions of Putin-era Russia. While the health system is in disarray and media freedoms remain more restricted than would be preferable, it is a fact that Putin's regime (and that of his surrogate, Medvedev) has brought many gains to Russia and instilled a sense of stability and predictability that had not existed in the hectic 1990s under Yeltsin. Thus, while the book can be a valuable work for those interested in the changes that took place in Russia in the early 2000s, an update may be needed to highlight the changes (both positive and negative) that have taken place since.

message 3: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Ciotta Yes, Sandy. I agree. In the end, whether you like him or not, Putin has succeeded in stabilizing Russia. Also, as you said, the West is anti-Putin, which they think is serving a good purpose, but in reality, it's counter-productive. Making Putin into an evil figure will not help the situation with the Russians. Most recently, Romney called Russia our "number one geopolitical foe." Statements like these only hurt our relations with Russia and make the US look dated and foolish. Thank you for your comment, Sandy! Best, Jennifer

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