The Russian democratic experiment continues under its third president, Vladimir Putin. Now in his second term, Putin was an unknown when he was handpicked by Boris Yeltsin to succeed him. Although Putin was quiet and almost withdrawn compared with the loud, large, and unpredictable Yeltsin, he held strong convictions about how the country should be managed and where he wanted to stand on the world's stage.
As a boy in the slums of Leningrad, Putin dreamed of serving his country. Recruited by the Soviet secret police as a counterintelligence spy, he was responsible for stealing classified high-tech secrets from the West. But when the Soviet Union's Communist rule dissolved in November 1989, Putin returned to Leningrad angry and confused, and determined to find another way to serve this new country. His fierce patriotism and ambition led him to the top governmental position in Russia.
Table of Contents
Foreword: On Leadership Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 6
A Modern Leader 12
A Wall Comes Down 15
The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Spy 27
On the Front Lines of the Cold War 36
"The Gray Cardinal" in St. Petersburg 50
To the Kremlin 60
President of Russia 72
The Sinking of the Kursk 81
Pivotal Moments in Putin's Presidency 89
Putin and the New Russia 101
Further Reading 115