Riding the Tiger: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the Uses of War (Hardcover)

Riding the Tiger: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the Uses of War By Leon Aron Cover Image

Riding the Tiger: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the Uses of War (Hardcover)


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"Having saddled the tiger of militarized patriotism, Putin expertly made it trot in the right direction. But the animal required more and more meat; as it grew, it became harder to dismount."

In this gripping tale, Leon Aron, the author of the acclaimed biography Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life, shows how Vladimir Putin has refashioned Russian society in his own image, placing militarized patriotism front and center. Through hundreds of Russian-language sources and arresting images, Aron chronicles the emergence of the new Russia.

Riding the Tiger challenges the conventional idea of Putin's regime as a traditional autocracy, bolstered by propaganda, political manipulation, and repression. The book tells the story of how Putin shaped ordinary Russians' views of their country, their history, and their own selves. The fast-paced narrative is a crash course in the political and cultural history of Russia according to Putin, his vision of Russia's manifest destiny, and his role in fulfilling it.

In exploring Russia's recent past, Aron offers insights into Russia's future. He argues that Putin's actions, including the invasion of Ukraine, are driven by the Russian president's need to ensure his regime's survival, avenge the fall of the Soviet Union, combat the America-led West, and make Russia a superpower again. Thus, regardless of the outcome of the war in Ukraine, war-or the threat of war-will remain his preferred means of holding on to power and recovering national glory.

Could Putin bring the world to the brink of nuclear Armageddon in pursuit of those ends? At the close of the book, Aron offers a chillingly detailed scenario of how such a crisis might play out.

Leon Aron was born inMoscow and came to the United States as a refugee from the Soviet Union. He isthe author of Roads to theTemple: Truth, Memory, Ideas, and Ideals in the Making of the RussianRevolution, 1987-1991 (Yale UniversityPress, 2012); Russia'sRevolution: Essays, 1989-2006 (AEI Press, 2007); and Yeltsin: ARevolutionary Life (St. Martin's Press, 2000). From 2014 to 2020, he served on the board of trustees of the US Agencyfor Global Media. He holds a PhD from Columbia University and is a seniorfellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Product Details ISBN: 9780844750545
ISBN-10: 0844750549
Publisher: American Enterprise Institute
Publication Date: October 24th, 2023
Pages: 232
Language: English