Monday, February 7, 2022

Review: Putin's Russia: The Rise of a Dictator

Putin's Russia: The Rise of a Dictator Putin's Russia: The Rise of a Dictator by Darryl Cunningham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This comes out February 15th and I had a digital copy from Drawn and Quarterly via Netgalley - to read the story of Putin is to better understand the story of Russia, unfortunately. He was born in Leningrad/St Petersburg only eight years after the siege and clawed his way to positions of power and money. He's like the Dick Cheney of Russia, where for every shady situation, you pull back the curtain and there he is.

This is content that probably exists in biographies and other critiques of Putin and his policies, but for me, easier to consume in graphic form. It's really astounding how Putin can have such a high popularity rating when we know about the people he's had killed (goodbye, free press, goodbye, vocal opponents), the countries he's invaded or destroyed, but since we have a person who copies his playbook, it also feels familiar.

In my year of reading Russia I worry I lack the knowledge to understand the subtext of the literature I'm reading, and from that perspective this graphic non fiction book helps provide context about Russia's power and control from the fall of the Soviet Union to the present day. Putin has been there all along....

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