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The Putin Mystique Hardcover – 16 Jan 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscraper Publications (16 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0992627028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0992627027
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 3 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 499,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

"Why do so many Russians go on giving uncritical support to Putin? Arguing that Russians hold a quasi-religious respect for the state and its leader, this illuminating book delves into the intertwining of the sacred and the political in history and today. Fresh vignettes of Putin in action illustrate both the supreme leader's attitude to his subjects and their needs, desires and fears that make him the kind of leader he has become." Caroline Humphrey, University of Cambridge "Anna Arutunyan's book is an excellent description of Putinland, where corruption and the abuse of power makes Russia fall even further down the international corruption list, to Latin American levels." Gavle Dagblad, Sweden "Arutunyan gives the reader a fascinating history of Russian identity, with extensive use of the long strands of literature and history. - Arutunyan's collection of stories is a dramatic eye opener on the Russian soul, with poignant stories about her own experiences during the large demonstrations since the Duma elections in December, when fear gave way to popular action" Politiken, Denmark "The Putin Mystique makes us wiser about a significant phenomenon in Russia's past and present." Berlingske Tidende, Denmark "A great experience - lively and interestingly written" Leif Davidsen, Danish writer and journalist

About the Author

Anna Arutunyan, a journalist and writer, was born in the Soviet Union in 1980, but grew up and was educated in the United States. She returned to Russia in 2002 and is an editor and senior correspondent on The Moscow News. She has written for various US publications, is the author of two previous books on Russia and has lectured widely.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brian Lait on 15 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a first class book and I feel much more informed about both Russia and Putin for reading it. I lived and worked in Ukraine (Kiev) for a number of years with fairly frequent trips to Moscow, so I'm not ignorant about the country or the people. The authoress (Armenian judging from the family name) clearly knows the country and analyses and explains it well. I do not miss the place and have no wish to return there any time soon !!

Another critique states that the book is more about the Russia that created Putin, and I think I would agree with that. However, I don't think anything is going to change in the near future and that may well be because the Russians themselves do not want it. One thing I am convinced about and that is that even with change, Russia will never adopt "democracy" as we understand the word. Its not in their psyche.

I recommend this book as a read that will educate the reader into a better understanding of what makes the Russia of today tick and, as importantly, how it came to be what it is today.
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Format: Paperback
A Moscow-based Russian-born journalist who was raised and educated in the States, Anna Arutunyan seems unusually well-placed to interpret Putin’s mystique in a way that Western readers can readily grasp. Although this book contains some fascinating information if you are prepared to make the effort to glean it, I was disappointed to find that the disjointed journalese makes for an often confusing and laborious read.

We are familiar with photographs of a macho Putin displaying his muscular torso as he rides on horseback through the wilderness, or wades in a river to catch salmon, of him diving in the Black Sea to retrieve ancient Greek urns in what proved to be a staged stunt, or co-piloting a plane to dump gallons of water to extinguish a forest fire. This personality cult which began in around 2001 is partly a top down process of which Anna Arutanin provides further examples: Kremlin ideologist Surkov’s organised demonstrations of support by the activist youth group “Nashi” whose members were rewarded with payment or career opportunities; the elaborate charade in which Putin showed his concern for alumina factory workers demanding their pay by berating on film the oligarch Deripaska who had halted production at their workplace. This included forcing him to sign a probably fake contract and even throwing a pen at him, for which humiliation Deripaska was compensated by some massive monetary bail-outs. The author also identifies more spontaneous actions with commerce in mind, such as the “pin-up” calendar showing the twelve moods of Putin or the erotic calendar of obligingly posed girls presented to him for his birthday.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sometimes the story is a little bit confusing, you have to struggle to keep all the threads in mind. But the analysis of the Russian people, the need for a tsar is revealing and I believe correct. Makes you understand why things are the way they are in Russia. Gives also the sad reason for the Crimean crisis after Sochi Olympics. We other Europeans can only pray that things would change over there, but we need also something to concrete to defend us with should our prayers fail.
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By Miketang on 19 May 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
The description of this book states that Russia under Putin is like something out of the Middle Ages. Actually you only have to go back to Stalin's reign to see exactly the same set-up, as described in Simon Sebag-Montefiore's "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar". There seems to be an intrinsic longing among the vast majority of Russian people for a strongman to shape Russian society and its aims internal and external.
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