New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West


When departing president Boris Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Putin as his replacement in 1999, no one suspected that, a decade and two presidential terms later, this unassuming former KGB operative would still be the de facto leader of Russia. Edward Lucas, Eastern European correspondent for The Economist, reveals the aggressive policies guiding the Kremlin today, including: abuses of human and democratic rights, the reasons for instigating conflict in Georgia, the larger aims of the standoff over gas delivery to ...
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The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West

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When departing president Boris Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Putin as his replacement in 1999, no one suspected that, a decade and two presidential terms later, this unassuming former KGB operative would still be the de facto leader of Russia. Edward Lucas, Eastern European correspondent for The Economist, reveals the aggressive policies guiding the Kremlin today, including: abuses of human and democratic rights, the reasons for instigating conflict in Georgia, the larger aims of the standoff over gas delivery to Eastern and Central Europe, and the true worth of Russia's economy. Hard-hitting and powerful, The New Cold War is the realistic view of Russia that the West can no longer ignore.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Lucas makes a powerful case …The New Cold War is intelligent [and] thoughtful … the first comprehensive compendium of the Kremlin's crimes against Russians and non-Russians alike.”—Peter Savodnik, Time

"Lucas is a fine writer, and his prose has all the verve and punch that the best of his magazine, The Economist, has to offer.”—Foreign Affairs

“A meticulously constructed indictment of Putin's strong-arm tactics at home and his increasingly aggressive tone in dealing with his immediate neighbors and any other countries that try to question his behavior.”—

“Brilliantly reported, morally unblinkered look at what has happened to Russia under Mr. Putin…For bringing the nature of the threat so vividly to light, Mr. Lucas has performed a public service.”—Brent Stephens, Wall Street Journal

“Highly informed, crisply written and alarming... Wise up and stick together is the concluding message in Lucas's outstanding book.”—Michael Burleigh, Evening Standard

“Lucas has a vivid, highly readable style.”—George Walden, 

“Whether this campaign of bullying is comparable to the Cold War is a matter of huge importance to the West. Hence it matters which experts we pay attention to….I can unreservedly recommend Edward Lucas. The New Cold War is about the fate that has yet again befallen the unfortunate region of Europe that lies on the borderlands of East and West.”—Daniel Johnson, New York Sun

"The New Cold War powerfully argues that America and Europe's excessive focus on Iraq and Afghanistan has blinded them to a threat closer to home. Thoroughly informed, steeped in his subject's recent history, with a flinty, caustic style that usually sizes up political phenomena with exacting precision, Lucas reminds us why longtime foreign correspondents surpass rookies who parachute into a foreign hotspot....Lucas offers one of the best briefs on how Yeltsin's Wild West became Putin's chilly petrofascism, detailing the return of rigged elections, forced psychiatric medication, the use of natural resources as foreign-policy bludgeons, and the rogue nations that are once again Moscow's best friends.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Edward Lucas is one of the best-informed, best-connected, and most perceptive journalists writing about Putin's Russia. The New Cold War is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what is happening in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union today.”—Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag, A History

"Edward Lucas's absorbing book shows the forces that are turning Russia against the West. They include militarism, greed, and a failure to understand that national greatness can be based only on civilized values. It is an invaluable primer for students of the Russian situation and a cautionary tale for those who prefer to treat Russia as it pretends to be rather than as it is.”—David Satter, author of Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State

"While the West is preoccupied with the Middle East and Islamic terrorism, Edward Lucas warns, Russia is quietly reinventing herself as a milder version of the Soviet Union and hence as a new threat to the West. Conceding Putin's domestic achievements, the seasoned East European correspondent of The Economist tracks post-Communist Russia's skillful exploitation of the capitalist world's greed to divide and thus to dominate it. It is a chilling account that needs to be taken seriously.”—Richard Pipes, author of The Russian Revolution 

"Veteran Moscow news correspondent Edward Lucas provides an authoritative analysis of the disturbing events in Russia today in this thoughtful, thoroughly researched and brilliantly written book that deserves the widest possible readership."—Robert Gellately, author of Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe

"Edward Lucas offers a devastating but apt critique of Vladimir Putin’s domestic repression and increasingly aggressive foreign policy. This stark and clear-sighted book is an excellent read. It makes evident the need for a new Western policy. Russia’s political development is one of the key issues of our time."—Anders Åslund, senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C.

"Edward Lucas has written a brilliant and profoundly disturbing study of modern Russia.  It is the history of rediscovered authoritarianism and the stunning brutality with which the KGB elite returned to power.  It is also the story of how Western venality and political credulity made this possible and placed the security of Europe at risk.  Above all, this is the tale of how President Putin methodically destroyed the vestiges of democracy in Russia and launched a New Cold War against the West.  It is difficult to overstate the importance of Edward Lucas's latest work for US and European policymakers."—Bruce P. Jackson, President, Project on Transitional Democracies


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230614345
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Revised and Updated
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,422,667
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Lucas has covered Eastern Europe for The Economist for over twenty years. He witnessed the end of the last Cold War, the parting of the Iron Curtain, and, as the Moscow bureau chief, covered Boris Yeltsin's reign and Vladimir Putin's rise to power. He lives in London, England.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface ix

Foreword to the Revised Edition xiii

Introduction 1

1 Putin's Rise to Power 19

2 Putin in Power 37

3 Sinister Pretense 57

4 Why Money Is Russia's Greatest Strength and Our Greatest Weakness 87

5 The "New Tsarism" 101

6 How Eastern Europe Sits on the Frontline of the New Cold War 129

7 Pipeline Politics 163

8 Saber-Rattling, or Selling Sabers 189

9 How to Win the New Cold War 207

Notes 217

Index 250

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting and informative read, but not quite what the title implies

    The end of the Cold War has been one of the watershed moments of the twentieth century. The tension between the Soviet Union and its allies on one hand, and the Western capitalist democracies on the other, has completely dominated all of international relations for almost half a century. The collapse of the Soviet Union had spurred hopes that the days of bipolar world and the constant threat of total nuclear holocaust are finally behind us. For some time it looked that Russia and a myriad other post-Soviet republics are firmly on a path of joining the West in emulation the institutions and practices of modern liberal democracies. Russia in particular, despite all of its massive economic troubles, seemed to be opening more and more and getting increasingly integrated in the international institutions and treaties. However, the beginning of the twenty-first century saw a dramatic reversal in political and personal freedoms within Russia and an increasing hostility and open challenge to the Western nations on international front. This renewed Russian belligerence and repression of political freedoms is the consequence of the arrival of Vladimir Putin on the scene, and his systematic attempts to reverse what is perceived by many in Russia as the whole scale national decline into chaos and lawlessness.

    All of these developments and many others that are not so familiar to the western observers are chronicled with an unprecedented detail and thoroughness by Edward Lucas in "The New Cold war." Edward Lucas is one of the best journalists who specialize in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics. He relies heavily on his own journalistic contacts and experiences to weave a powerful and informative narrative of Putin's Russia and the power structures and mechanism that it employs. The picture is oftentimes very brutal and ugly, but this is just a reflection of the facts on the ground.

    The second part of the book deals with the geopolitical threats that the resurgent Russia poses to its neighbors and the West. This part of the book is much shorter than the part that deals with internal Russian affairs, and the information is not as fresh and original. This is all rather unfortunate, since the book's title and the premise imply that the main focus of this book is on new Russia's foreign affairs and dealings, and how this constitutes a threat to the World on par with the Cold War. The reader takes home the message that Russia, despite its very sketchy and unsavory domestic and international politics is nowhere near to its erstwhile power to disrupt the peace and stability in the World. This may indeed be the accurate picture of the true potential and importance of Russia right now, but if the author wanted to alert the public to Russia's international aspirations then this book falls short. I truly hope to find the answer to this dilemma, and would like to read a book that is in fact entirely devoted to Russia's current diplomatic relations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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