From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia

From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia

by Michael McFaul


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From the diplomat Putin wants to interrogate—and has banned from Russia—a revelatory, inside account of U.S.-Russia relations from 1989 to the present

“A fascinating and timely account of the current crisis in the relationship between Russia and the United States.” New York Times Book Review

Putin would need an enemy, and he turned to the most reliable one in Russia’s recent history: the United States and then, by extension, me.

In 2008, when Michael McFaul was asked to leave his perch at Stanford and join an unlikely presidential campaign, he had no idea that he would find himself at the beating heart of one of today’s most contentious and consequential international relationships. As President Barack Obama’s adviser on Russian affairs, McFaul helped craft the United States’ policy known as “reset” that fostered new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. And then, as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, he had a front-row seat when this fleeting, hopeful moment crumbled with Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency. This riveting inside account combines history and memoir to tell the full story of U.S.-Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the new rise of the hostile, paranoid Russian president. From the first days of McFaul’s ambassadorship, the Kremlin actively sought to discredit and undermine him, hassling him with tactics that included dispatching protesters to his front gates, slandering him on state media, and tightly surveilling him, his staff, and his family.

From Cold War to Hot Peace is an essential account of the most consequential global confrontation of our time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544716247
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 05/08/2018
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 564,571
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

MICHAEL MCFAUL is a professor of political science and director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He served in President Obama’s National Security Council, then as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation. Dr. McFaul is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to the Washington Post.

Table of Contents

Prologue vii


1 The First Reset 1

2 Democrats of the World, Unite! 22

3 Yeltsin's Partial Revolution 38

4 Putin's Thermidor 57


5 Change We Can Believe In 76

6 Launching the Reset 86

7 Universal Values 109

8 The First (and Last) Moscow Summit 120

9 New START 139

10 Denying Iran the Bomb 158

11 Hard Accounts: Russia's Neighborhood and Missile Defense 176

12 Burgers and Spies 194

13 The Arab Spring, Libya, and the Beginning of the End of the Reset 205

14 Becoming "His Excellency" 228


15 Putin Needs an Enemy-America, Obama, and Me 239

16 Getting Physical 264

17 Pushback 280

18 Twitter and the Two-Step 298

19 It Takes Two to Tango 316

20 Chasing Russians, Failing Syrians 330

21 Dueling on Human Rights 359

22 Going Home 379

23 Annexation and War in Ukraine 393

24 The End of Resets (for Now) 409

Epilogue: Trump and Putin 429

Acknowledgments 461

Notes 464

Index 498

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