As Russia’s role on the global stage grows more provocative, Russian journalist Mikhail Zygar weighs in with a no-holds-barred look at Vladimir Putin’s leadership style. Zygar makes the compelling argument that to understand Putin you must look at the crucial insiders who have helped shape his regime. Putin, the author posits, is a somewhat reluctant ruler – and partly a creation of his closest advisers. Though Zygar doesn’t present an entirely airtight case for this claim, he offers ample evidence illustrating that there’s no overarching endgame behind Putin’s transgressions against human rights and international sensibilities. Instead, Zygar argues, Putin’s leadership is characterized by a pattern of lashing out, time and again, against some real or perceived threat to Russia or to Putin himself. Viewed through this prism of score-settling, Putin’s actions begin to make a sort of strange sense. Though this book pre-dates Moscow’s meddling in the US presidential elections, it can help readers imagine how such campaigns might bring Putin satisfaction. Zygar’s account is overly intricate at times, bogged down as it is in Putin’s ever-changing roster of consiglieres; but the prose is stellar. getAbstract believes this important book may be the closest thing to an insider’s account of the Kremlin and its secretive ruler.
About the Author
Mikhail Zygar is the former editor-in-chief of TV Rain, the only independent TV station in Russia. VICE News called him “the last journalist in Russia.”