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Mr. Putin

Operative in the Kremlin

By Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy
mr putin new and expanded cover

Named one of the Financial Times Best Books for Summer 2015. 

From the KGB to the Kremlin: a multidimensional portrait of the man at war with the West.

Where do Vladimir Putin’s ideas come from? How does he look at the outside world? What does he want, and how far is he willing to go?

The great lesson of the outbreak of World War I in 1914 was the danger of misreading the statements, actions, and intentions of the adversary. Today, Vladimir Putin has become the greatest challenge to European security and the global world order in decades. Russia’s 8,000 nuclear weapons underscore the huge risks of not understanding who Putin is.

Featuring five new chapters, this new edition dispels potentially dangerous misconceptions about Putin and offers a clear-eyed look at his objectives. It presents Putin as a reflection of deeply ingrained Russian ways of thinking as well as his unique personal background and experience.


A course centered around Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin is available on our iTunes U channel, Brookings 101.


Praise for the first edition

If you want to begin to understand Russia today, read this book.
Sir John Scarlett, former chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6)

For anyone wishing to understand Russia’s evolution since the breakup of the Soviet Union and its trajectory since then, the book you hold in your hand is an essential guide.
John McLaughlin, former deputy director of U.S. Central Intelligence

Of the many biographies of Vladimir Putin that have appeared in recent years, this one is the most useful.
Foreign Affairs

This is not just another Putin biography. It is a psychological portrait.
The Financial Times

Considering how busy you are, do you have time to read books? If so, which ones would you recommend? “. . . My goodness, let’s see. There’s Mr. Putin, by Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy. Insightful.”
Vice President Joseph Biden in Joe Biden: The Rolling Stone Interview


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