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Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell in and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 19. April 2013

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 379 Seiten
  • Verlag: Yale University Press (19. April 2013)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0300181213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300181210
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24 x 16,6 x 3,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 191.459 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"[An] astute new book on Russia."--David Frum, "The Atlantic"--David Frum "The Atlantic "

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Ben Judah is Russia and Central Asia Fellow at the European Council of Foreign Relations. He travels regularly throughout Russia and the former USSR, and his writings appear in such journals as the Economist, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, Standpoint, and the New Republic. He lives in London.

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Von Victoria am 25. Mai 2015
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
A brilliantly written and researched book! Amazingly accurate and exceptionally informative. A must-read for everyone who is interested in current Russian politics, and who cares what will become of the country.
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2 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von SER am 23. Februar 2015
Format: Taschenbuch
Alle ist subjektiv. Ich konnte kaum Fakten finden. Vieles ist hinein interpretiert. Wer gib ihm das Recht so einen Quatsch zu schreiben?
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27 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An Excellent Overview of Modern Russia 27. Juli 2013
Von Carl from Chicago - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I picked up this book based on positive reviews in Bloomberg and elsewhere and was very impressed. I have a reasonably good understanding of Russia based on military history and a decent understanding of the global energy business.

The first thing that comes to my mind is how brave the author must be to go around Russia asking questions about Putin. From my understanding and this book that is a very risky thing to do since the primary purpose of the security apparatus in Russia is to keep Putin in power.

The book follows Putin from the chaos in post-collapse St Petersburg where he worked for a local politician through his election to presidency, the Medvedev years (which were actually the Putin years), and then back into his current stint in charge.

The book is not all negative about Putin, which is what I find most interesting. The oligarchs that took control of the energy and media companies were extremely un popular and Putin brought them to heel. This was in fact popular among much of the population. He also took energy revenues and used them to pay some salaries and pensions and bring some modest amount of stability to the poor. And Moscow was substantially re built with sky scrapers and other elements. He also resolved (for the time being) the situation in Chechnya by allying with the current warlord and this momentarily resolved a horrible active war that was being fought in an embarrasing way for Russia.

It is very interesting to see how close associates of Putin, even those in his Judo club and KGB days, have become billionaires. They have taken control of the energy infrastructure and then a swiss trading function is another source of his supposed vast personal wealth (unproven).

Judah talks to Navalny, the activist against Putin's latest election, and this is insightful because today Navalny is subject to a phantom prosecution designed to deter him from elective office. You can jump between the articles in the book and the latest news and this is very helpful.

There is a lot in this book. It covers an amazing amount of topics from coast to coast, including the border wars with China and the far, Far East. The author attempts nothing less than a comprehensive, border to border analysis of modern Russia.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A sobering portrait of modern Russia 16. Januar 2014
Von Paul E. Richardson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The subtitle of this book, “How Russia fell in and out of love with Vladimir Putin” is an apt summary. Judah chronicles the rise of Putin from virtual nobody (1991), to lionized tsar (2008), to a putative Tsar Nicholas II or Boris Gudonov (2012). It is a compelling account, based on thousands of interviews with ordinary Russians, and dozens with “influentials” past and present.

Judah shows Putin to be a man who has assumed the guise demanded of him by events and history: a Chekist in the last days of the USSR, a democrat under Sobchak, a loyal servant under Yeltsin, a militant war president riding a popular tide that wanted security and stability above freedom. But, in the process of that last bit, Judah argues, Putin and his coterie built centralizing institutions that eviscerated civil society and the democratic accomplishments of the Yeltsin era. The manipulative interim presidency of Medvedev, followed by the re-re-election of Putin showed that the Vertical of Power had no clothes, that “managed democracy” had only “the formal institutions of democracy... gutted of meaning,” that the Party of Power was in fact the “party of crooks and thieves.”

The vertical of power turned into a vertical of corruption, United Russia turned into a patronage network not a party, and the ‘dictatorship of law’ turned out to be a dictatorship of predatory officials. They left Russia a fragmented and feudalized country in which all corrupt policeman, inspectors and governors had been signed up into Putin’s party.

The mass demonstrations of 2011-12, Judah says, were signs of a discontent that he says is far from limited to the capital. The discontent “is vast,” he says, “but resistance is tiny.” For now, the regime has bought off its natural critics, but a civil society is creating itself online, away from the corrupt and powerless vessels of “managed democracy.” How it will develop is as yet uncertain.

This book is a sobering portrait. It is strongest in describing the type of state Russia has become, how it has come to be driven by the personality and desires of one man. Many, however, may find the prognosis to be overly dismal. In any event, if you are interested in understanding where Russia is and how it got there, this is an exceptional place to start.

[As reviewed in Russian Life magazine.]
10 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Perceptive and Engrossing (revised review) 20. August 2013
Von jbd - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Judah has done his homework, through hundreds of interviews with Russians from all walks of life. And he is a perceptive observer of people and institutions. In Fragile Empire, he retells recent Russian history from two perspectives: that of the traumatized population, desperate for some stability and national pride after the collapse and shame of the Yeltsin years; and that of the officials, who felt besieged by a series of disasters from the sinking of the Kursk to the terrorist attack on children at Beslan and the westward lurch of Ukraine.

Many of the stories Judah tells are familiar to close Russia watchers, but he reassembles the pieces to paint a convincing picture of Putin's regime as ruled by fear--of loss of power and wealth, of humiliation, of a possible breakup of Russia just like the Soviet Union or, worse, Yugoslavia. He shows that Putin's big moves, including the neutering of the governors, the capture of the press, and the attack on Khodorkovsky, were essentially improvisational and reactionary, stamping out challenges as they arose rather than following some preconceived plan to create an authoritarian regime. Along the way, Judah makes many trenchant comments about how people in power think and how power works.

I'd like to give this book five stars, because I enjoyed it and learned a great deal from it. But the quality of the writing and editing are too uneven. Judah does not seem to understand how to tell a story in the right sequence. He jumps in and out of chronological order in an arbitrary and often jarring way. His seques are often clumsy. He mentions new characters in the story without first introducing them to the reader, and then introduces them pages later. Sentences are often poorly constructed. Word choices are often inapt.

Most of these problems could have been fixed by a first-rate editor. It's unfortunate that Judah didn't have one, because he is obviously a very smart guy with an important story to tell.

Later edit: For whatever it's worth, I've come back and revised my review to five stars because I think the narrative this book has to offer is really unique and worthwhile. This is simply a must-read for Russia watchers. While there were problems with its editing, it's a five-star book, because its lessons will stick with you and color your impressions every time you read about Russia in the newspaper.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Where was the editor when this book was about to be published!? 28. August 2014
Von Wolfgang M. Pauli - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Judah did accumulate a wealth of information for this book. After reading it, I feel like I understand a lot more about Russia, its politics, history and economics, and who the key players have been since the early 90s.

However, I wish he, or the editor, had spent more time organizing this information. Chapter titles sometimes are misleading, e.g. it may indicate that a chapter will be about the internet, but halfway through he ends up writing about the Russian church. Which is just as interesting, but if I ever want to go back to the book for this info, I will have to remember that the info on the Church will be hidden in the chapter on the Russian internet.

I almost think it would have been better to publish this book in form of a online wiki, with internal links for cross references, and a search function.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Poor Investigation and Unwarranted Conclusions 7. Dezember 2014
Von bonnie_blu - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
2.5 Stars. Although there are a few valuable nuggets in the book, I feel the majority of the material is questionable. The author states that he interviewed "thousands" of Russians, but only references a handful. In addition, he makes sweeping conclusions (over and over again) without firm foundations. I found the exploration of Putin's childhood interesting, and I agree with the author that Putin is a fearful, deeply insecure man. On the other hand, I cannot agree with the author when he states that a majority of the Russian people resent Putin and want change. It may be true, but I don't feel that the author made a solid case for this assertion, and at least on the surface, it appears that the Russian people love Putin.

Dictators and oligarchs throughout history have used fear, propaganda, and misdirection to maintain rule. It is my opinion that Putin's adventures in Georgia, Sochi, and Ukraine are obvious examples of diverting his people from his deficiencies in governing to remain in power. It may be that with the drop in oil prices, increasing sanctions, and the accelerating recession in Russia, Putin will find his position vulnerable and he will have to flee the country. Only time will tell.

One final comment: the book is in need of serious editing. The text contains numerous grammar and usage errors, is uneven, and wanders off on tangents that have little or nothing to do with the thesis. It was a chore to plow through the 300+ pages.
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