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The Putin Mystique: Inside Russia's Power Cult by [Arutunyan, Anna]
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The Putin Mystique: Inside Russia's Power Cult Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 330 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1720 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscraper Publications (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I5IY1BS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #263,334 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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: Hardcover
'The fault, dear Brutus is not in the stars but in ourselves.' Julius Caesar

Anna Arutunyan's Putin Mystique is unusual because it does not dwell on top down stories of Putin's actions, but on bottom up historical and cultural pressures that explain the underlying affection of Russians for Putin and other authoritarian leaders. Combining journalism (contemporary) with historical and cultural analysis makes this book accessible, unusual and involving. It takes a few chapters to hit stride, but once you get where she is coming from the ride becomes worth the read. Once you see how the actions taken at the top reflect needs within the Russian people, you realise she is on to something big.

It seems the Russians are so divided by the size of their land, and disparate personal objectives, that the move to authoritarianism and collectivism becomes inevitable. There is no law by contract, but only submission. There is freedom to roam but no obligation from the powerful to reciprocate. So different from Europe (as Marx contended), Russians seem to demand authoritarian leaders like Putin.The Tsar links the faith to the state in a way that never existed in the West, and Putin has embraced the Orthodox church - which supports him slavishly - to its shame.

In the last few chapters, written at the end of 2013, she speculates on Alexander Navalny, then the new challenger on the horizon, and wonders what Putin would do next to stay popular. The answer was, invade Ukraine, take Crimera, kill Navalny and try to annex Eastern Ukraine.

Could anyone have guessed? This is a compelling, unusual read that bares its teeth slowly but once bared, changes your point of view.
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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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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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