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The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West 2nd Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0230614345
ISBN-10: 0230614345
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Editorial Reviews


“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.” ―Newsweek.com

“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, Bloomberg.com

“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

About 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 2 edition (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230614345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230614345
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,536,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mladen Nesic on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this book because I would like to add a Russian component to the masters thesis I am working on, and thought it would give me good background. Alas, while the book was an entertaining read, it is practically useless academically. Mr Lucas' prose drips with outrage and disdain toward Russia's leaders--and I sometimes got the feeling that his attitude extends toward all Russian people. Although I don't have a deep background in this field, it was pretty obvious that Mr Lucas glosses over very complicated events in order to substantiate his own rather simplistic argument. The book quotes very few sources and mostly regurgitates events that have already been widely reported on. The author's lack of nuance is the most troubling--everything boils down to Putin/Russia = power/control/corruption/bad--which left me with very little I could use in a serious paper. By the end of the book, I had the impression that I had read a polemic summary of everything bad the mainstream Western media has had to say about Russia over the past couple of years, which might explain why it appears to have gotten so many good reviews from major news outlets.

Mr Lucas may be right, and he certainly has a valid opinion on Russia's politics and the direction the country is going. However, I hope that anyone who would like to read this book understands what it is--the strongly written personal opinion of a journalist who has been covering Russia for a few years. It is certainly not an objective or meticulous study of any aspect of contemporary Russia.
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This riveting book by the former Internaitonal Affairs editor at the Economist is an eye opening portrayal of modern Russia and the threat it poses to the West. Russia's current strongman, Vladimir Putin, sees the west as its primary foe, and longs for the days of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was seen as an equal to teh United States. To Lucas, Putin is doing all he can to recreate that world.
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This is a very compelling book, but every sentence is composed with the most acerbic language possible. Lucas makes a very strong case that the new Cold War is happening before our eyes. It did not need to be amplified by linguistic shouting, even in the references which were extensive and persuasive. My background as a behavioral scientist would have suggested a more restrained use of language that let the facts tell the story, which are truly there. It is one of the best books I have read that relates to foreign policy. It is too bad that it is screamed, not spoken.
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Format: Paperback
This is an incredible book, one of which I was very happy to find out about. This third and newest edition includes a new preface on the Crimean crisis. Like the older editions,it describes in great detail the circumstances in Russia at the time the book was originally copyrighted (2008,2009), when one Vladimir Putin came to power to destroy what progress Russia had made towards becoming as democratic a country as possible after years of authoritarian rule dominated by Communist ideology. I see the book as a warning. After the recent illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russians and their invasion of the Ukraine just days ago, one can see why. It is a call to action. As the author put it: "a central message of this book is that the world's richest and strongest free countries must stand behind these small states now under threat from Russia. It may be inconvenient, costly, or even painful to do so, but if we do not win the New Cold War, on terms of our choosing, we will fight at a time and place chosen by our adversary, and the odds will be tilted against us." This is, after all, how Adolph Hitler launched the world into World War II when the most able countries that could have stood up to his tyranny just passively stood by and let it happen.

True, I may have a more personal interest in this book then some. My parents, after all, were refugees from one of the Baltic nations (Lithuania) that this author writes about. They were among the almost one million people (some 1/3 of the TOTAL population of that small country) that were either arrested, executed, deported to Siberia (in cattle cars to work themselves to death in frigid temperatures with little food).
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I purchased this book right after Russia's annexation of Crimea. At the time I was curious on what Russia's interests were in Crimea and why Russia was keen in taking it. I read this book, as well as others, to help shed some light. It was fascinating to learn more about the numerous abuses of power in the Russian elite and their rampant cronyism. The book obviously has a western slant to it, but it makes one doubt anything that the Russian government claims to be true with some convincing facts and contradictory claims by the Russian government itself. Although an interesting read, I was disappointed that the book wasn’t really as updated as claimed. When I purchased this book, it stated that it was "Fully Revised and Updated" with a publication date of 2014. Despite this, there were several sections that discussed events upcoming in 2010 which had clearly already happened. Overall the book is a good read but not exactly what I had hoped for.
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