by Philip Short
30 June 2022
The extraordinary story of the world's most influential leader over the last twenty years. 'Anyone wanting to learn more about Putin's personality, ideas, power...should read this outstanding biography' Ian Kershaw Vladimir Putin has the power to reduce the United States and Europe to ashes in a nuclear firestorm. He invades his neighbours, most recently Ukraine, meddles in western elections and orders assassinations inside and outside Russia.
Yet many Russians continue to support him. Despite western sanctions, the majority have been living better than at any time in the past. By fair means or foul, under Putin's leadership, Russia has once again become a force to be reckoned with.
Philip Short's magisterial biography demolishes many of our preconceptions about Putin's Russia and explores in unprecedented depth the personality of its enigmatic and ruthless leader. Since becoming President in 2000, his obsession has been to restore Russia's status as a great power, unbound by western rules. What forces and experiences shaped him? What led him to challenge the American-led world order that has kept the peace since the end of the Cold War? To explain is not to justify.
Putin pursues his goals relentlessly by whatever means he thinks fit. But on closer examination, much of what we think we know about him turns out to rest on half-truths. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what is happening in Ukraine today.