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The New Tsar

The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin

About The Book

The epic tale of Vladimir Putin's path to power, as he emerged from obscurity to become one of the world's most important and dangerous leaders.

Former New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief Steven Lee Myers has followed Putin since well before the recent events in the Ukraine, and gives us the fullest and most engaging account available of his rise to power. A gripping, page-turning narrative about Russian power and prestige, the book depicts a cool and calculating leader with enormous ambition and few scruples. As the world struggles to confront a newly assertive Russia, the importance of understanding Putin has never been greater.

Vladimir Putin rose out of Soviet deprivation to the pinnacle of influence in the new Russian nation. He came to office in 2000 as a reformer, cutting taxes and expanding property rights, bringing a measure of order and eventually prosperity to millions whose only experience of democracy in the early years following the Soviet collapse was instability, poverty and criminality. On the other, Putin has ushered in a new authoritarianism - unyielding in its brutal repression of dissent and newly assertive politically and militarily in regions like Crimea and the Middle East. 

The New Tsar is a staggering achievement, a deeply researched and essential biography of one of the most important and destabilising world leaders in recent history, a man whose merciless rule has become inextricably bound to Russia's foreseeable future. 

About The Author

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (September 8, 2016)
  • Length: 592 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471130649

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Raves and Reviews

'Myers casts valuable light on the nexus of financial dealings involving Putin's St Petersburg cronies'

– John Kampfner, Observer

'Myers has the accuracy and readable style of the best New York Times journalists'

– Donald Rayfield, Literary Review

'Steven Lee Myers’s The New Tsar is not the first biography of Putin, but it is the strongest to date. Judicious and comprehensive, it pulls back the veil… from one of the world’s most secretive leaders. What is most striking, given the aura of steely consistency that Putin cultivates, is how he has changed over the years… The great strength of Myers’s book is the way it shows how chance events and Putin’s own degeneration gradually cleared the path to the Ukraine crisis… Putin emerges as ... a flawed individual who made his own choices at crucial moments and thereby shaped history.'

– Daniel Treisman, Washington Post

'What Steven Lee Myers gets so right in The New Tsar, his comprehensive new biography - the most informative and extensive so far in English - is that at bottom Putin simply feels that he’s the last one standing between order and chaos… What Myers offers is the portrait of a man swinging from crisis to crisis with one goal: projecting strength… A knowledgeable and thorough biography… Putin himself now represents the chaos he so abhors - the chaos that will surely come in his wake.'

– Gal Beckerman, New York Times Book Review

'Personalities determine history as much as geography, and there is no personality who has had such a pivotal effect on 21st century Europe as much as Vladimir Putin. The New Tsar is a riveting, immensely detailed biography of Putin that explains in full-bodied, almost Shakespearean fashion why he acts the way he does.'

– Robert D. Kaplan

'The reptilian, poker-faced former KGB agent, now Russian president seemingly for life, earns a fair, engaging treatment in the hands of New York Times journalist Myers… [who] clearly knows his material and primary subject… Myers shows how Putin convinced everyone that this way of operating was part of the Russian soul and how he perpetuated it through an archaic form of Russian corruption… Myers astutely notes how Putin’s speeches increasingly harkened back to the worst period of the Cold War era’s dictates by Soviet strongmen… A highly effective portrait of a frighteningly powerful autocrat.'

– Kirkus (starred review)

'Such an understanding of Putin’s early life and the evolution of his leadership is lacking. [Myers’s] methodology is sound and, I believe, the only way to capture such an intimate understanding of Russia’s iron man.'

– Ian Bremmer, author of Superpower

'Combining skilled story telling, psychological examination and political investigation, Steven Lee Myers succeeds brilliantly in this biography of Vladimir Putin. Explaining the dangers that Putin’s Russia may and does pose, Myers effortlessly and expertly guides the reader through the complexities of the Russian Byzantine governing style and the country’s politics and identity. In the end, the book provides one of the most comprehensive answers to a puzzling question: despite all the changes that Russia has gone through during communism and post-communism, why is it still an empire of the tsar?'

– Nina Khrushcheva

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