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Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped Hardcover – October 27, 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 308 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"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.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
  • Hardcover : 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1610396200
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1610396202
  • Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.13 x 9.63 inches
  • Publisher : PublicAffairs; First Edition (stated), First Printing (October 27, 2015)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 308 ratings

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308 global ratings
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book which all political leaders in the west must ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars It will open your eyes to a coming conflict
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Important read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2018
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Mary Brady Friedrich
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Garry Kasparov!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 27, 2018
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