Everyone's favorite attention-hogging autocrat is getting not one, but two graphic biographies next year.
Empire of Corruption is a broad if uneven examination of the "Russian national sport" (Soloviev's words here, not mine!).
I'm typically a fast reader and writer. It should be very telling, then, that it took me nearly a month to read Oleg Kashin's Fardwor Russia and write its corresponding review. It wasn't exactly what I call enjoyable reading, and boy do I have a lot to say about it.
Understanding Russian Politics seems to be less of a textbook in the traditional sense and more of an introduction to Russia for the general reader, and a good one at that.
Read it if you're interested, but just know that you'll be getting a very distorted picture of Putin's Russia.
The true story of Putin's Russia, or a well-meaning but failed attempt to correct popular misconceptions?
If you like your political biographies flabby around the middle and with a heavy dose of cynicism, then Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin is the book for you.