Understanding Russian Politics Paperback – 31 Mar 2011
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'In this outstanding contribution, Stephen White presents a masterly analysis of contemporary Russian politics. Based on a close reading of the Russian press as well as by a lifetime devoted to the study of the country, White provides a dispassionate account of the controversial leaderships of Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin, allowing us to see their rule in the broader context of the forces shaping Russian politics. This is an outstanding account that is essential reading for students and anyone interested in contemporary Russia.' Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics, University of Kent
'Well-informed, well-written, and copiously documented, Stephen White's latest book is an impressive (and disturbing) portrayal of politics and society in post-Soviet Russia …' Archie Brown, Emeritus Professor of Politics, Oxford University and author of The Rise and Fall of Communism
'Stephen White's thoroughly researched, well-crafted, and parsimonious text is the best single overview I have encountered of the politics of contemporary Russia. It shows how Russia's post-communist system has stabilized, largely in an authoritarian mold, without yet being frozen in that mold.' Timothy J. Colton, Chair, Department of Government, Harvard University
'Stephen White has long been one of the leading experts on the former Soviet Union and contemporary Russia, and here he has distilled much of his vast knowledge into a single volume that provides what is perhaps the best analysis of Russian politics available today … This is an excellent book that can be strongly recommended for both the serious student of Russia and the general interested reader.' Peter Shearman, Political Studies Review
A fresh and compelling interpretation of the politics of the world's largest country, focusing on developments under Putin and Medvedev. Covering economic, social and foreign policy and the current political system, students are encouraged to reach their own judgements on key events and issues, such as privatisation and corruption.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Written by Professor Stephen White, a lecturer at the University of Glasgow who is a key voice in Russian politics, this book does not treat Russian politics with a typical western bias, rather a deep understanding of the sociology around Russia's politics.
In addition, the book references several other books in each chapter which provides you with the key texts you should be reading for each topic.
Especially worth a read is the chapters on the electoral system as this is his area of expertise!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The nature and specifics of Putin's rule are well described and these, like the entire book are well chosen, deftly organized, lucidly written and offer smooth reading.
Despite its title this is not a book the focuses on the narrow topic of elites jockeying for power with boring lists of committee names, chairman's names and power chains. The material is of a broad nature rich with abundant insights into the Russian character and the otherwise unheard voices of the Russian people.
The book does not take the position that western reforms are indicated or even desirable (i.e., feasible). It treats the Russian experience as a phenomenon with its own distinctive trajectory and character. It is what it is. Some problems have no solutions and the politics described in this book seems to accept this, as do vast sectors of the population.
I don't see this as a reference book, but as more of an eye opener for the serious, general reader who will put together solid generalizations about Russia the Enigma and keep these intact as time passes. One fast moving reading will be enough.
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