May 01, 2014

Putin, Lenin and Idioms



Anna Arutunyan (Skyscraper, $18.50)

There could not be a more appropriate book to read at this moment. Published almost coincident with the Ukraine crisis, Arutunyan's book offers a powerful portrait of the economic, political and psychological forces that undergird the modern Russian state.

The title is a bit misleading, however, because this is not a book about Putin, per se. It is instead about how Putin could happen, about what it is in the Russian polity, in Russian history and economics, that would lead a country recently freed from the shackles of Communism, beginning its unsteady lurch toward democracy, to revert to its well-worn, authoritarian-feudal past.


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