Generatioin P(utin) Bookshop

Find this blog boring but still want to read about Putin? Add some Putin-related titles to your bookshelf or your e-reader.

Books by the man himself

First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President
Vladimir Putin, Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natalya Timakova and Andrei Kolesnikov
The official autobiography, or rather, a collection of interviews, published when nobody really knew who he was. Well, we still don't really know who he is... the rambling "autobiography" isn't as astonishing or as frank as we'd hope it to be. Nevertheless, it's required reading--in Russia, the official word, we learn, sometimes is the last word.

Book Description
Publication Date: May 5, 2000
Who is this Vladimir Putin? Who is this man who suddenly--overnight and without warning--was handed the reigns of power to one of the most complex, formidable, and volatile countries in the world? How can we trust him if we don't know him? 

First Person is an intimate, candid portrait of the man who holds the future of Russia in his grip. An extraordinary compilation of over 24 hours of in-depth interviews and remarkable photographs, it delves deep into Putin's KGB past and explores his meteoric rise to power. No Russian leader has ever subjected himself to this kind of public examination of his life and views. Both as a spy and as a virtual political unknown until selected by Boris Yeltsin to be Prime Minister, Putin has been regarded as man of mystery. Now, the curtain lifts to reveal a remarkable life of struggles and successes. Putin's life story is of major importance to the world.
Judo: History, Theory, Practice
Vladimir Putin (Author), Vasily Shestakov (Author), Alexey Levitsky (Author), George Russell (Preface), Keiko Fukuda (Preface)
Yes, he (co-)wrote a book on his favourite sport, judo. Be sure to have a this ready at the next book-signing session where Vladimir Vladimirovich puts on his robe and black belt. We're pretty sure Steven Seagal has one. 

Book Description
Release date: June 16, 2004
Authors Vladimir Putin, Vasily Shestakov, and Alexy Levitsky give a complete history of judo, from its origins in Japanese jujitsu through its development into an Olympic sport, including Russia's contributions to the art. The rules and basic concepts are covered, followed by detailed instruction in break-falling, throwing techniques, and ground grappling. Judo theory is examined, and key practice points are presented, as well as strategies for the beginner and an exploration of kuzushi, Judo's art of unbalancing. Lastly, the authors present the self-defense techniques of judo and introduce the unique Russian art of combat sambo.

Biographies by people who think they've figured him out

The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia
Angus Roxburgh 
The tie-in book for the awesome documentary, Putin, Russia, and the West. Lots of original material from exclusive interviews with those who knew and worked with Putin.

Book Description
Release date: May 28, 2013
Russia under Vladimir Putin has proved a prickly partner for the West, a far cry from the democracy many hoped for when the Soviet Union collapsed. Angus Roxburgh charts the dramatic fight for Russia’s future under Vladimir Putin—how the former KGB man changed from reformer to autocrat, how he sought the West’s respect but earned its fear, how he cracked down on his rivals at home and burnished a flamboyant personality cult, one day saving snow leopards or horse-back riding bare-chested, the next tongue-lashing Western audiences. Drawing on dozens of exclusive interviews in Russia, where he worked for a time as a Kremlin insider advising Putin on press relations, as well as in the US and Europe, Roxburgh also argues that the West threw away chances to bring Russia in from the cold, by failing to understand its fears and aspirations following the collapse of communism. Fully updated following the 2012 presidential election, the new edition of this acclaimed book provides a unique and penetrating inside view of Putin’s Russia.

Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (Brookings FOCUS Book)
Fiona Hill (Author), Clifford G. Gaddy (Author)

Just how many faces of Putin's are there? This book has one of the more unusual perspectives we've seen in a political biography of Putin.

Book Description
Publication Date: February 1, 2013 | Series: Brookings FOCUS Book
Vladimir Putin has been Russia's dominant political figure for more than a decade, but he is a man of many identities. He likes to play roles. The images that his public relations team has orchestrated range from big game hunter to scuba diver to biker, even night club crooner. It is reminiscent of the British cartoon character Mr. Benn. Observers have variously said, he has no face, no substance, no soul; he is "the man from nowhere" —a nobody, yet a man who can appear to be anybody. Of course, Putin is not a "nobody"; he only wants the world to see him that way, and he has gone to extraordinary lengths throughout his life to conceal who he really is.

In this book, Russian experts Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy answer the question, "Who is Mr. Putin?" Drawing on many sources, including their own personal encounters with him, they argue that there are, in fact, several "real Putins." His outlook has been shaped by many influences —a combination of archetypical Russian mentality, a very close reading of Russian history and literature, his own early life, his KGB training, his time in East Germany, his experiences in St. Petersburg in the 1990s, his early days behind the scenes in Moscow, and his time at the helm of the Russian state. Understanding his multidimensional nature is and should be important for U.S. and other policymakers trying to decide how to approach and interact with him.

While uncovering the many real identities of Mr. Putin, the authors concentrate on five essential ones: Putin the Statist, Putin the Survivalist, Putin the Outsider, Putin the Free Marketeer, and Putin the Case Officer. For each of these identities, they explain what it is, why it is important for understanding Putin, and trace its roots and evolution.

Finally, they examine the nature of the personalized system that Putin has built up and why it can be understood as a logical result of his personality. He has an idealized view of himself as CEO of "Russia, Inc." In reality, his leadership style is more like that of the don of a mafia family. The system is personalized, private, informal; enforcement is not by positive incentives but by threats. Putin the CEO has not been the executive of a transparent public corporation; he's been one who operated in the closed board room of a privately held corporation, feeling no need to disclose the shareholders or motivate any decisions. And now his corporation is in crisis. The public is demanding that Putin the CEO be held accountable for its failings.

Fiction set in Putin's Russia

I, Putin
Jennifer Ciotta
Putin fans rejoice--we do have at least one decent piece of Putin fan-fiction!

Book Description
Publication Date: April 18, 2012
What happens when a president is faced with a decision so harrowing, it changes him forever? 118 submariners spiraling into the abyss, a country in chaos and a president who seems not to care. Through the eyes of a first person Vladimir Putin, and his personal aide Gosha, discover what motivates the man behind Russia. Is he the cold, ruthless Vladimir Putin we know, or is he … human? Winner of Honorable Mentions at the New York Book Festival & Hollywood Book Festival, 2012!

Books on the Political Landscape of Putin's Russia

Coming soon. Do you have any suggestions? Email me! sg-ru (@) hotmail . com

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