Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Brookings Institution senior fellows and veteran Russia watchers Hill and Gaddy (The Siberian Curse) bring high-level expertise to bear on the enigma of Vladimir Putin in this illuminating study. The authors divide Putin's political identity into six basic personas, including the Statist, the History Man, the Survivalist, the Outsider, the Free Marketer and, perhaps most crucially, the Case Officer. Their analysis of each combines enough historical background and contemporary analysis for a graduate-level seminar along with an accessible writing style that won't deter more casual readers. The History Man, for example, is shown as habitually invoking Russia's hallowed past to justify his obsession with an ever-looming threat of disorder, while the Case Officer uses persuasive, focused techniques of gaining a target's confidence, first learned in the KGB, to "enlist every Russian in the service of the state." Though Hill and Gaddy's prose often bears a think tank report's heavy imprint, the authors' final verdict on the Putin era is astute, warning that unless Putin can adapt and perhaps loosen his grip, this seemingly indispensable man will get the blame when his personalized governance apparatus no longer functions well enough to support his nation's needs. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Hill and Gaddy (senior fellows, Brookings Institution; coauthors, The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold) analyze Russia's government and political system as personified by President Vladimir Putin. They ask whether Putin's intricately constructed system can sustain Russia's future in the wake of the massive anti-Putin protests of 2012. Drawing from a detailed and encompassing blend of personal interactions and observations, biographies and autobiographies, letters, articles, and state publications, the authors break Putin's personal and political persona into six segments. As they define each aspect, they demonstrate how each builds upon the others in carefully designing the image Putin apparently deems the most necessary, given the particular audience or situation. The authors end their study by questioning whether a leader who, they feel, sees himself as the government embodied can meet the demands of the educated, connected Russian people for a transparent and redefined state. -VERDICT This considered analysis of a complex, seemingly self-aware political figure will make a good addition to well-rounded academic collections as it efficiently analyzes both Putin's successes and failures in the context of the greater questions about Russia's future.-Elizabeth Zeitz, Otterbein Univ. Lib., Westerville, OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.