Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Russia Hand: A Memoir of Presidential Diplomacy” as Want to Read:
The Russia Hand: A Memoir of Presidential Diplomacy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Russia Hand: A Memoir of Presidential Diplomacy

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  11 reviews
During the past ten years, few issues have mattered more to Americas vital interests or to the shape of the twenty-first century than Russias fate. To cheer the fall of a bankrupt totalitarian regime is one thing; to build on its ruins a stable democratic state is quite another. The challenge of helping to steer post-Soviet Russia-with its thousands of nuclear weapons and ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published May 13th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2002)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Russia Hand, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Russia Hand

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  123 ratings  ·  11 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Russia Hand: A Memoir of Presidential Diplomacy
Nov 03, 2013 rated it liked it
The insider account of the Clinton administration's diplomatic relationship to Russia is fascinating, but good Lord does Mr. Talbott have a high opinion of himself and Christ, does he love to name drop. The first fifty pages are all about him hanging out with a young Clinton (he loves good ol' Bill, they're bestest bestest buddies and good ol' Billy can do no wrong, no wrong at all, gosh he's so brilliant and perfect and also right about everything all the time...), chatting it up with George ...more
Chet Herbert
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tumultuous stroll through the geopolitical memory lane of most of my high school and college undergrad years guided by Strobe Talbott, translator-editor of Nikita Khrushchev's memoirs and (F.O.B.--friend of Bill) Clinton's go-to State Dept man for Russian trouble-shooting.

Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out--Anton Chekhov

History is the total of things that could have been avoided--Konrad Adenaur

Clinton on cold war policymakers: "He admired Franklin
Dec 05, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: enemies
I'm only reviewing this book so that I can have something with one star to prove that my rating system is not inflated. It also has a bright red spine, so it stood out on the bookshelf as I was looking for books to review.

Strobe Talbott has a very high opinion of himself, which is largely unwarranted. It appears that he has fairly significant substantive understanding of Russia, but no perspective or analytical judgment. He credits the warmth of Russo-American relations in the mid-1990s to the
Gordon Kwok
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A short enjoyable book about the achievements by President Clinton and Russian president Yeltsin. I've always thought that President Clinton did not get enough credit (at least here) for his achievements on the international stage and the respect that other other leaders had for him. President Clinton was able to work on a number of important issues with Russia's president including NATO enlargement, removal of Soviet troops from the Baltic nations and removing nuclear weapons from Ukraine.

Joe Wisniewski
Feb 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand that book is or was going to be released in Russia/Europe as "Boris and Bill". Frankly that might have been a more appropriate title overall. :-)

I would be interested in hearing S. Talbot's response to recent allegations/observations that while not disclosing anything of a secure nature, Talbott's close personal diplomatic ties with the Russians were exploited during the Kosovo crisis to get info on the planning/approach of the administration in dealing with a potential powderkey
Mar 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Honestly, I didn't finish this book. Actually, I heavily skimmed this book. But after a chapter or two of careful reading you get the idea of the entire book (granted I guess I can't say that with any legitimacy of knowing). It's very in depth and definitely shows the personalities of Clinton and Yeltsin, which is really interesting. But the whole book is basically how the two of them worked together through various problems through the years at the helm to make Russia something functioning. ...more
A.J. Bryant
Aug 24, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: goodstuff
Go behind the scenes to some of the most influential decisions in the history of US-Russian relations. A rare first hand look at political brokering, back office negotiating and some hilarious stories.
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A must read!...Strobe Talbot takes you inside the infancy of Bill Clinton's White House in 1992, and how they struggled to become foreign policy masters, especially with regards to Russia. You will be amazed to learn how Russia's current leaders came into their positions.
Johnna Horton
Dec 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love reading behind-the-scenes accounts of historical events. It's the voyeur in me, probably. This is an interesting look at Clinton's relationship with Yeltsin and how the Russian need to constantly "save face" plays out at the highest level.
Jun 06, 2009 rated it liked it
I enjoyed getting a policy maker's inside prespective of the U.S.'s Cold War Diplomacy
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't know much about foreign policy between USA and Russia, but after reading this book, I wanted to find out more. It was an easy read.
rated it really liked it
Jan 18, 2013
Charles North
rated it really liked it
Aug 09, 2015
rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2019
rated it it was ok
Feb 11, 2015
Max Nemtsov
rated it it was amazing
Nov 01, 2007
Jared Reynolds
rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2013
Tom Krepitch
rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2009
rated it it was ok
Dec 04, 2009
Mark Schrad
rated it it was amazing
Aug 08, 2012
rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2008
rated it liked it
Oct 05, 2012
Sarah Colleen
rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2018
Audrey Mckay
rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2013
Bruce Gordon
rated it it was ok
Feb 20, 2015
rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2008
rated it liked it
Jun 30, 2008
Paul Johnson
rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2009
Justin Ong
rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2017
Dimitar Dimitrov
rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Jaunt
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
  • To Sir, With Love
  • Starlady
  • To Your Eternity, tome 1 (To Your Eternity, #1)
  • La Voix des cheminées (Koma, #1)
  • The Metabarons #1: Othon & Honorata
  • Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science
  • The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency
  • The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota, #3)
  • Negotiation Boot Camp: How to Resolve Conflict, Satisfy Customers, and Make Better Deals
  • The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
  • Think Like a Warrior: The Five Inner Beliefs That Make You Unstoppable (Sports for the Soul Book 1)
  • Victory Favors the Fearless: How to Defeat the 7 Fears That Hold You Back (Sports for the Soul Book 5)
  • Accounts Receivable Best Practices
  • Rust Vol. 1: Visitor in the Field
  • Pop Internationalism
See similar books…

News & Interviews

With clever detectives, missing jewels, murderous women, daring spies, and more, mysteries and thrillers deliver page-turning delight with ever...
44 likes · 12 comments