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The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev

The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev

by Daniel Treisman


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A refreshing and deeply reported look at the political, economic, and cultural changes in Russia, with an in-depth examination of Vladimir Putin’s rise, the power of the oligarchy, and what it means for the world.

Almost twenty-five years after Mikhail Gorbachev began radically reshaping his country, Russia has changed beyond recognition. In his third book on this subject, Professor Daniel Treisman takes stock of the country that has emerged from the debris of Soviet communism and addresses the questions that preoccupy scholars of its history and politics: Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Could its collapse have been avoided? Did Yeltsin destroy too much or too little of the Soviet political order? What explains Putin’s unprecedented popularity with the Russian public?

Based on two decades of research and his own experiences in the country, Treisman cuts through the scholarly and journalistic debates to provide a portrait of a country returning to the international community on its own terms. At a time when global politics are more important than ever, The Return illuminates the inner workings of a country that has increasingly come to influence, and which will continue to shape, American foreign policy and world events.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416560722
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 01/10/2012
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Daniel Treisman is a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a leading specialist on post-communist Russia’s politics and economics. A recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Hoover Institution, he is the author of two previous acclaimed books on Russia. He lives with his family in Malibu, California.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A crisp, unromantic overview of the rocky Russian journey to join the world markets....A tight, modern, and relevant study of the 'Russia that has returned.'"—Kirkus Reviews

“The comprehensiveness and clarity of The Return make it a valuable resource for anyone trying to make sense of the puzzle that is Russia.”—Dallas Morning News

"Treisman explores the path of postcommunist Russia in this engrossing study."—Publishers Weekly

“This excellent book provides both an elegant and comprehensive account of Russia’s turbulent history over the last quarter century and penetrating and sometimes surprising analyses of the main political and economic issues that that history raises.”

—Michael Mandelbaum, author, The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era

“Daniel Treisman treats us to an elegant and learned history that demystifies Russia’s transformation from a communist state to a normal country. This is the best and most readable account of Russia’s rebirth.”

—Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

“Daniel Treisman has written a book about Russia today that is calm, sane, judicious, very well informed, and written in the kind of prose that makes you want to read on. It is a welcome and necessary antidote to much fashionable Western writing that portrays Russia as a kleptocracy ruled by a secret policeman intent on victory in a new Cold War…. Russia has certainly returned. Whether we like it or not we are likely, if we want to achieve our own objectives, to find ourselves having to treat the Russians with the respect they believe they deserve, and can increasingly command.”

—Rodric Braithwaite, former UK ambassador to the Soviet Union and Russia, author of Across the Moscow River: The World Turned Upside Down and Moscow 1941: A City and Its People at War

“Possessing both deft storytelling abilities and deep scholarly knowledge, Treisman provides a truly masterful exposition of the tumultuous past two decades in Russian history, politics, and society. Anyone interested in Russia and its leaders should read this book.”

—James Goldgeier, George Washington University

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