I’m reading a really good book right now. It’s called Putin and the Rise of Russia by Michael Stuermer, about the presidency of Vladimir Putin from 2000-2008.
A new book published at the end of September I think its quality, unlike many books like this tend to simply cover an autobiography of the main character with the issues more or less building upon this theme. This book doesn’t do this instead it starts with some of the major issues facing Russia and the reaction and underlying policy concerns that affected that actions of President Putin.
The book does a survey of some of these issues like the missile defense shield, actions in the Balkans and some of the continuing energy issues that I think define strategy and geopolitics on the European continent. One of the examples cited was a chapter related to Gazprom the state controlled energy conglomerate. And the fact that Gazprom controls vast reserves of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG); but lacks the ability to move this product onto global markets and long-term demand.
Imagine what would happen if this idea ever comes to pass.
I’ve been reading some of the reviews of Putin and the Rise of Russia. Many of the reviews are critical of this book claiming that the book is badly organized and lacking in detail and that readers “unfamiliar with the landscape” in Russia would have a hard time understanding. I don’t agree with this assessment. I think anyone that has any knowledge of Russia, Putin and has an interest in policy issues will get something out of this book. The writing is clear, the author doesn’t spend a lot of time on explaining why Putin took the actions he did. Instead the author explains the issue, some influencing factors in the issue like the role of U.S. and then how Putin reacted to the issues. The book discusses the 2007 Munich Conference which I believe I’ve captured below via UTUBE.
Putin and the Rise of Russia by Michael Stuermer isn’t currently available on the NH Interlibrary loan system. Booksellers like Borders are retailing it for $25.00, a rewards card will help knock back the price 25-30%.
Vladimir Putin Speaks at Munich Security Conference.