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From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia Hardcover – Illustrated, May 8, 2018
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"McFaul succeeds, shedding needed light on the most geopolitically competitive relationship of the last 75 years and attempting to explain the 'why and what' of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election." —The Guardian
"Careful about providing evidence for his hard-earned opinions, [McFaul] is always clear and successfully assesses the level of complexity we lay-readers need to understand academic theories about revolutions and economics." —Christian Science Monitor
"An invaluable memoir." —David Remnick
"Vigorously argued." —Washington Post
"An expert political chronicle that often reads like a fast-paced thriller." —Booklist, starred review
"Mike McFaul has lived history. In this terrific book, he recounts a pivotal time in U.S.-Russian relations, bringing the perspective of a central participant and one of America's finest scholars of Russian politics. This book will be valued by students, experts, historians and diplomats for years to come. It is a good read and an invaluable contribution at a crucial time." —Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State under George W. Bush (2005-2009)
“As both a first-hand observer and a key participant in many of the recent events that have shaped US-Russia relations, Ambassador McFaul has an important story to tell. From Cold War to Hot Peace is a gripping and intensely personal account of one of the most complex and consequential geopolitical developments of our time.” —Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State under Bill Clinton (1997-2001)
“This is an indispensable book for understanding the threat our country faces from Vladimir Putin’s Russia. McFaul is a candid and insightful guide to the history, personalities, and politics that continue to shape one of America’s most consequential relationships.” —Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State under Barack Obama (2009-2013)
“Mike McFaul gives us a broad, thoughtful analysis of a critical shift in world affairs. Read From Cold War to Hot Peace for timely, informative, and intriguing insights on changing US-Russia relations.” —George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan (1982-1989)
"[McFaul] provides useful insights into the changing relationship between America and Russia in this smart, personable mix of memoir and political analysis... an essential volume for those trying to understand one of the U.S.’s most significant current rivals." —Publishers Weekly
"Of interest to observers of the unfolding constitutional crisis as well as of Russia's place in the international order." —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
- Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Illustrated edition (May 8, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 528 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0544716248
- ISBN-13 : 978-0544716247
- Item Weight : 1.7 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.57 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #101,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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The book is a reminder that seven years ago, the US enjoyed good and productive relations with Russia under Medvedev. McFaul is able to walk the reader through the long series of events that took us from that relationship to the contentious and difficult one we have now.
The book is also a fascinating inside look at how foreign policy is made and how an ambassador does his job.
Michael McFaul’s love is ‘Liberal Democracy’ a somewhat fey item immersed in mythology sometimes reducible as in Russia and elsewhere to “electoral” democracy with uncertain outcomes.*
The book is a loose treatment of Russia in the post Soviet period centering on McFaul’s experiences as a participant and witness of the Washington foreign-policy establishment up close. His self congratulatory style muddling sometimes the topic at hand, but rich in revealing what policy makers were attempting to accomplish; the discrepancy between intent and outcome glaring and reveling.
Many readers will enjoy seeing the policy construction process as it unfolded in the Obama administration chasing “Reset” as it was called, from McFaul’s experiences.
An attempt to draw Russia closer, more democratic, and accepting international standards while facilitating desirably Obama administration goals.
What the story reveals to me is in the 90’s how trusting Boris Yeltsin and associates where in allowing the masters of the Washington consensus to impose their notions of a post-Soviet Market Economy, polished up by Jeffrey Sachs, Harvard economics professor, Lawrence Summers, a colleague and implemented by Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais to delivered, as ‘shock therapy,’ privatization and market determined prices without thought of the institutional issues of laws and governmental practices in place, as Joseph Stiglitz chief economist of the World Bank and others were later to heavily attack. A tragic mistake.
The result of America’s desire to remake Russia was to create a broken economy of Crony-Capitalism with Chubais becoming one of the richest men in Russia, joined by other oligarchs grabbing what they could. They live on, those who have not crossed Putin. **
It was not Communism not Socialism but Capitalism to the delight of Washington. Michael McFaul’s telling of that story is that it is democratic; there are elections, a parliament and so far term limitations but not (yet?) ‘Liberal Democracy.’
Looking at results independent of overlaying ideology I see little too cheer regarding Reset. Russia may have pursued the same events that excited McFaul independent of his and President Obama’s efforts prior to Putin return as president.
For me the story suffers from centering heavily on McFaul’s time in and out of government and less about Russia, the ensuing high crime rates and low quality of life that was to befall the general post-Soviet population, but it is a memoir.
America achieved little.*** But Michael is likeable and optimistic, see his concluding hopes for Reset.
Trumps fondness for Russia fits where? An unfair question I know.
3 1\2 Stars
*A liberal democracy is simply a political system that is both liberal and democratic—one that both protects individual rights and translates popular views into public policy.
** Without American insistence on Market and privatization Russia could have stayed with the original plan of enterprises going to workers and managers modeled on Yugoslavia decentralized Workers Management economy – one that functioned until the country destroyed but that is another story.
*** “—Democracy! That’s a funny word in Russia. “Putin the Democrat” is our shortest joke.”(p. 292) Alexievich, Svetlana. Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets