Available for pre-order. This item will be available on November 13, 2018.
It is impossible to think of Russia today without considering Vladimir Putin. More than any other major national leader, he personifies his country in the eyes of the outside world, and dominates Western media coverage of Russia to an extraordinary extent. In Russia itself, he is likewise the centre of attention for detractors and supporters alike. But as Tony Wood argues, this overwhelming focus on the president and his personality means that we understand Russia less than we ever did before. Too much attention is paid to the man, and not enough to the country outside the Kremlin’s walls.
In this timely and provocative analysis, Wood looks beyond Putin to explore the profound changes Russia has undergone since 1991. In the process, he challenges many of the common assumptions made about contemporary Russia. Though commonly viewed as an ominous return to Soviet authoritarianism, Putin’s rule should instead be seen as a direct continuation of Yeltsin’s in the 1990s. And though many of Russia’s problems today are blamed on legacies of the Soviet past, Wood argues that the core features of Putinism—a predatory, authoritarian elite presiding over a vastly unequal society—are integral to the system set in place after the fall of Communism.
What kind of country has emerged from Russia’s post-Soviet transformations, and where might it go in future? Russia without Putin culminates in an arresting analysis of the country’s foreign policy—identifying the real power dynamics behind its escalating clashes with the West—and reflect on the paths Russia might take in the twenty-first century.
“Tony Wood brings a cool eye and analytical acuity to a systematically misrepresented subject. The result is a concise book that is continuously startling in its revelations, and sobering in its reminders of the vast tracts of Russian experience that paranoid commentary about the country has disregarded.”
“Tony Wood masterfully readjusts the lens through which we see contemporary Russia. This lucid, concise book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the economic, social, and political factors that have made Russia what it is today, and that will shape Russia's future.”
“Tony Wood is the best and most eloquent writer on Russia that we have. A book from him on the deep dynamics of the entire post-Soviet era, free of obsession with the personality of Putin, is nothing less than a gift.”