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Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped Hardcover – October 27, 2015
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"A compelling story of courage and civic-mindedness...With his wealth and status, [Kasparov] could easily have opted to live out life like a Russian oligarch, buying baubles and yachting from port to port. Instead, he plunged into politics, organizing coalitions to challenge the autocratic rule of Vladimir Putin, taking a leading role in public demonstrations and marches, and in 2007 running for president himself...Winter Is Coming presents a picture of the internal forces propelling Russia's descent into aggressive authoritarianism. And it offers a scathing analysis of the contribution of the West to that outcome." --Wall Street Journal
"Brave, trenchant and convincing... The book gallops through the collapse of the Soviet Union and the chaotic 1990s and then charges full tilt at Vladimir Putin: a former KGB man who is a far more dangerous adversary than most outsiders realise. His rise to power in 1999 should have been a deafening alarm call to the West: as shocking as an ex-Gestapo officer coming to power in Germany... Western politicians who offer grand visions and bold leadership, such as Senator John McCain, don't get elected. Voters in democratic countries tend to prefer low key leaders and a quiet life to blood, sweat, toil and tears. How does one defend a free world that does not want to defend itself? Let us hope that Kasparov's book becomes a bestseller." --The Sunday Times (UK)
"His prose, like his chess, is fast, ferocious and unforgiving... vividly describes the growing authoritarianism of Mr. Putin's regime, culminating in the February murder of Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader... The real power of Kasparov's book lies in his argument that the west must pursue a more assertive and moral foreign policy, something that has faded out of fashion." --Financial Times
"It's always important to read Garry Kasparov, who warned the dangers of Putinism long before so many others. He is that rare thing: A Russian democrat who is realistic about his country, but remains hopeful for the future." --Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag and Iron Curtain, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction
"Garry Kasparov has the information-processing capacity of a supercomputer and the eloquence of an extraordinary orator. It takes a mind and a heart like his to analyze the last 25 years of the history of Russia in the world and emerge with not only an indictment of Western complicity but a clear call for Western action. Required reading for anyone planning to run in, work on, or vote in the 2016 presidential campaign." --Masha Gessen, author of The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin and Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot
"Garry Kasparov has written a passionate indictment both of Russia's kleptocracy and the complacency of Western democracies in the face of Putin. This threat has become our central foreign policy challenge, and Kasparov's arguments are essential in understanding how to face it." --Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University
"Lively and readable...Throughout Winter Is Coming, Kasparov keeps the narration brisk and generously includes flashes of humor...If you know nothing about post-Soviet Russia, this is a good place to start. And if you're a longtime Russia watcher like me, you should read this book and steel yourself for the inevitable sadness and sense of loss as Kasparov details how quickly Russia's chance for democracy after the Cold War ended was snuffed out. Kasparov is a witty and engaging companion throughout the book. But make no mistake-he is walking with you through a cold, fading dusk that, in the end, promises only a long night of a Russian winter." --The Federalist
"If you're looking for a way to understand what Putin is about, this book may be for you... Kasparov has written a passionate, detailed warning to wake up the West." --St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"An emotionally charged look at Russia since the fall of Communism centred on the rise and rule of Vladimir Putin...A fascinating and thought-provoking book." --Irish Independent
About the Author
Garry Kasparov spent twenty years as the world's number one ranked chess player. In 2005, he retired from professional chess to lead the pro-democracy opposition against Vladimir Putin, from street protests to coalition building. In 2012, he was named chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, succeeding Václav Havel. He has been a contributing editor to the Wall Street Journal since 1991 and he is a senior visiting fellow at the Oxford Martin School. His 2007 book, How Life Imitates Chess, has been published in twenty-six languages. He lives in self-imposed exile in New York with his wife Dasha and their children.
Top customer reviews
"“In my first years as an activist I often said that Putin was a Russian problem for Russians to solve, but that he would soon be a regional problem and then a global problem if his ambitions were ignored. This regrettable transformation has come to pass and lives are being lost because of it. It is cold comfort to be told ‘You were right!’. It is even less comforting when so little is being done to halt Putin’s aggression even now. What is the point of saying you should have listened and acted when you still aren’t listening and acting?” -- from Introduction to “Winter is Coming”
"According to author Garry Kasparov Western appeasers with names like Bush, Merkel, Major, Clinton, Chirac, Obama, Schroder, Berlusconi, Sarkozy have been playing ball with Russian President Vladimir Putin for 15 years now. During the term of his predecessor Boris Yeltsin there had been a short window of opportunity to introduce democratic reforms to Russia and Yeltsin’s efforts met with limited success. Unfortunately, aided and abetted by the aforementioned Western leaders Vladimir Putin has reversed course since 2000 and has fashioned a KGB police state with far-reaching consequences for his own country and for the rest of humanity. Kasparov lays out precisely how we got here from there in his hard-hitting new book “Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World must be Stopped”. This is easily one of the most important books I have read recently." by Paul Tognetti (above)
Yes, there is a lot of history and names I didn't know - but the point is "what" is happening - "how" it is happening, and "why"
I happened to order this book recently - before the information about Putins involvement in the American election. Good timing. I have always been fearful and concerned about Putin - especially since his submarine war games with Venzeuela in 2008 - scheduled to be in the Gulf of Mexico - and conflicts with Putin over the ownership of the arctic - since it is beginning to melt
Our government seems to have turned a blind eye - and tried to approach Putin in a way that you would approach a "normal" head of country. But Putin is NOT a normal head of country. Our approach he has seen as weakness - and he continues to run over us. And now the 2016 Presidential election
It has to stop. We must stand up to him. Yes, even with military force - and I am a pacifist. I am like Obama an Idealist. I want to solve problems with "working together" - I detest conflict. "John Lennon's "Imagine" is pretty much my philosophy. But I have read enough about Russia in the past (Yes, I read The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - back in the 1970's) to be wary
Kasparov compares him to a mafia don. His driving desire is for money, and power. His instincts are always to bribe, to steal and to eliminate potential adversaries. Compromise and a "restart" button (as Hillary suggested) do not work with him. He laughs at us - and then takes another step toward subduing us
Trump is no match - he has already been bribed by Putin. Diplomacy is no match. We must stand up to him and hit him where it hurts. I just hope it is not too late
In doing so he has succeeded for several reasons. He holds much of Europe hostage because of their dependence on the gas and oil which he controls. He secures their appeasement because of his audacity and their cowardice. He earns their trust because he is a great liar and a great controller of public imagery. He marketed himself as a member of the G8, just another economic leader, a person ‘with whom we could do business’. This is not Stalin or Hitler, but a person who manipulates power a bit more violently and a bit more autocratically, but, yet, someone with whom we can do business.
Kasparov compares him to a mafia don. His driving desire is for money. His instincts are always to bribe, to steal and to eliminate potential adversaries. In the process, the millions of people whose destinies are in his hands can be damned. He does not care for them; he does not care for his country; he cares only for himself and for his friends (so long as they can help him solidify his power and garner more personal wealth).
In exploring the recent decades of international history Kasparov makes his points again and again. After all, they are not far to seek. They only fade when we allow our delusions, fantasies, misperceptions and fears to permit them to do so. On the American front, Kasparov is critical of all of our presidents since Reagan and he is particularly critical of Obama. That criticism is reinforced with countless, specific examples. At the moment that I am writing, e.g., Russian fighter planes are flying over our vessels in the Baltic; this sort of behavior solidifies Putin’s posture as a tough opponent of the west; meanwhile (to date, at least) we do nothing in response.
With all of the discussion of politics, war and global strategy, I was pleased to see that in his peroration Kasparov identifies the greatest fear of all terrorists and dictators—education. He argues throughout for ‘principles’ over ‘policies’. Dictatorships succumb to liberty, to transparency, to a regard for the truth. Bullets may help in the short run, but in the long run (as this great chess master argues) the principles constitute the bulwark against the destruction of democracy and dissent. The principles come from education, from history, and from the courage of individuals who speak out in the face of repression and tyranny.
This is an important book and also a very lucid and readable book. It should be must-reading for anyone aspiring to understand our current condition and, more to the point, for anyone who hopes to play a direct role in its amelioration.