(K. Brent Tomer),
All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin. By Mikhail Zygar. Public Affairs; 371 pages; $27.99.
“WHO is Mr Putin?” a foreign-affairs columnist famously asked when the then unknown Vladimir Putin took office in 2000. Now, more than 16 years into his rule, the question has become: Which Mr Putin is the real Mr Putin? Is it the coolly pragmatic accidental president who once discussed joining NATO? The swaggering manager of a country drunk on petrodollars? Or the new tsar, out to restore Russian greatness, annexing Crimea and relentlessly challenging the Western order?
The answer, Mikhail Zygar argues in a compelling new book, “All the Kremlin’s Men”, is that all of these hold true. Mr Zygar, a leading Russian journalist, portrays a ruler who has transformed himself in response to outside events. This is especially so regarding the Western world. Mr Zygar argues that Mr Putin began his presidency convinced that he could build good relations with the West, particularly with America. By his third term, having accumulated a litany of grievances…Continue reading