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In a gripping narrative of Putin's rise to power as Russia's president, Steven Lee Myers recounts Putin's origins - from his childhood of abject poverty in Leningrad to his ascension through the ranks of the KGB and his eventual consolidation of rule. Along the way world events familiar to listeners, such as September 11th and Russia's war in Georgia in 2008, as well as the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, are presented from never-before-seen perspectives.
This audiobook is a grand, staggering achievement and a breathtaking look at one man's rule. On one hand, Putin's many reforms - from tax cuts to an expansion of property rights - have helped reshape the potential of millions of Russians whose only experience of democracy had been crime, poverty, and instability after the fall of the Soviet Union. On the other hand, Putin has ushered in a new authoritarianism, unyielding in his brutal repression of revolts and squashing of dissent. Still, he retains widespread support from the Russian public.
The New Tsar is a narrative tour de force, deeply researched and utterly necessary for anyone fascinated by the formidable and ambitious Vladimir Putin but also for those interested in the world and what a newly assertive Russia might mean for the future.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By A. M. on 03-07-16
A retelling of facts without much added info
Any additional comments?
Compare and contrast to Putin's Kleptocracy: The New Tsar is not as fast paced and did make a few good observations not found in other books on Putin, but it also leaves out a few things. Putin's Kleptocracy by Karen Dawisha, on the other hand, is the most well researched investigative journalism out there on Putin, but it's also a one-legged indictment full to the brim with substance, names, and information. Perhaps too much so for the first time reader on Putin.
If reading your first book on Putin, I'd recommend Red Notice by Bill Browder or The Man with a Face by Masha Gessen. Either one is a fascinating introduction to life in Putin's Russia. The New Tsar is informative and balanced but gets four stars because it doesn't quite hit the nail as hard as other reads on the subject. And the narration is good but bland.
33 of 33 people found this review helpful
By Anonymous on 10-23-15
Putin's Professional Career
good book - does a great job chronicling Putins rise and shifting views towards the west. And Putin's story - how he rose to power, assassinated dissents through radiation poisoning, tightened his grip over the media, battled Islamic extremism and invaded Ukraine, certainly make for interesting material.
The book doesn't really make Putin come to life. I'm guessing this is partly because Myers didn't have information about Putin's daily routine and behaviors, and partly because Putin doesn't have the most gripping personality.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful