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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Vladimir Putin is a pariah to the West.

Alone among world leaders, he has the power to reduce the United States and Europe to ashes in a nuclear firestorm and has threatened to do so. He invades his neighbours, most recently Ukraine, meddles in Western elections and orders assassinations inside and outside Russia. The regime he heads is autocratic and corrupt.

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 explores in unprecedented depth the personality of its enigmatic and ruthless leader and demolishes many of our preconceptions about Putin's Russia. 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's regime is dark. He 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 audiobook is as close as we will come to understanding Russia's ruler. It also makes us revise long-held assumptions about the course of global politics since the end of the Cold War.

©2022 Philip Short (P)2022 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Putin

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An astonishing achievement . Short’s book is nothing short of perfection

Informative, lucid and gripping. An absolute masterclass in historical biographical writing!
One if the best books I have listened to since joining Audible, where I have accumulated over 100 titles in the last 2 years!
Highly recommended.

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Excellent biography

Not surprisingly there are suddenly a lot of books about Vladimir Putin on the scene. This is likely the best on offer. No sensationalism here, but a thoroughly well researched and rational account of Vladimir Putins rise through the Soviet system and how it made him the man he is today. Real rags to riches story with good explanations as to what makes him tick. Like Stalin was largely absent from the actual Soviet revolution, so Putin remained in the shadows until his time came to emerge. I highly recommend this book. Good narration too which helps.

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Well research, little apologetic of Putin

Enjoyed, well researched and written. But felt author was a little apologetic towards Putin and Russia... this is after all a man who in his name has caused multiple genocidal attacks and war crimes against multiple countries...all while pulling the freedoms of his people adopting Orwellian techniques... in levels not seen since Hitler and Stalin... and yet the author glosses over with statements its the only way the Russians know how to fight...and...Russia never really had freedom anyway.

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Captivating

The research and in-depth knowledge that Philip Short has into Putin’s background and recent rise in Russia is amazing.

Coupled with a well written and pacy narrative and excellent narration by Jonathan Keeble, this audiobook has kept me hooked throughout - and finally much better educated on the mind and motives of this flawed individual.

Highly recommended.

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A behemoth of research

I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to understand Putin a bit more than the western media usually allow.

The author manages to delve below the surface of a very multifaceted and complicated man and present us with facts to make our own judgements and whilst it’s a long read (listen) it’s immeasurably rewarding.

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  • Johnny Neutron
  • 18-08-22

Very interesting book about recent Russian History

This book was very interesting and quite balanced too in that it doesn't paint Putin as either a saint or a devil. As a recent history of Russia it was very interesting especially the parts about the struggle against Chechen islamic terrorism and the sinking of the Kursk. At the end it lost me a bit because of the way it repeated the obvious nonsense of western propaganda about what is going on in Ukraine and Democrat lies about Donald Trump and the Covid hoax. But still a good read in the end.