Andrew Cowley

Who Is Putin?

Putin's Progress: A Biography of Russia's Enigmatic President, Vladimir Putin

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Simon & Schuster 370pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Inside Putin's Russia

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Granta Books 350pp £20 order from our bookshop

Black Earth: Russia After The Fall

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Harper Collins 511pp £25 order from our bookshop

PART OF THE Russian genius is the love of simplifying the complex. Sergei Roy – the grandfather of The Moscow News, Moscow’s oldest liberal paper – likes to squeeze most of twentieth-century Russian history into a ‘fourstage arrangement’. Beginning with the death of Lenin in 1924 and ending with the death of Stalin in 1953 was the period of Stalinisation. De-Stalinisation began under Khrushchev from 1953 to 1964. His successors up to 1985 – Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko – presided over ‘vegetarian’ Stalinism. The final demolition of Stalinism took place under Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

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