• Putin's Wars

  • The Rise of Russia's New Imperialism
  • By: Marcel H. Van Herpen
  • Narrated by: Julian Elfer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook offers the first systematic analysis of Putin's two wars, placing the Second Chechen War and the War with Georgia of 2008 in their broader historical contexts. Drawing on extensive original Russian sources, Marcel H. Van Herpen analyzes in detail how Putin's wars were prepared and conducted and why they led to allegations of war crimes and genocide. He shows how the conflicts functioned to consolidate and legitimate Putin's regime and explores how they were connected to a third, hidden, "internal war" waged by the Kremlin against the opposition. The author convincingly argues that the Kremlin - relying on the secret services, the Orthodox Church, the Kremlin youth "Nashi", and the rehabilitated Cossacks - is preparing for an imperial revival, most recently in the form of a "Eurasian Union."

An essential book for understanding the dynamics of Putin's regime, this study digs deep into the Kremlin's secret long-term strategies. Clearly argued, it makes a compelling case that Putin's regime emulates an established Russian paradigm in which empire building and despotic rule are mutually reinforcing. As the first comprehensive exploration of the historical antecedents and political continuity of the Kremlin's contemporary policies, Van Herpen's work will make a valuable contribution to the literature on post-Soviet Russia, and his arguments will stimulate vigorous debate.

©2014 Rowman & Littlefield (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Putin's Wars

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Pretty good, waiting for next revision

Would you listen to Putin's Wars again? Why?

The book is very good. I learned a lot about Chechen war and Georgian war. The only trouble is that the book ends at the end of 2013. This is like listening to a book "Hitler's Wars" which ends in 1940. I hope the author will write a new revision of this book, unfortunately now, at the beginning of 2015 there is a lot of new materiel to cover.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Overall, Julian Elfer is doing pretty good job. However, when it comes to pronouncing Russian terms or names, I (a native Russian speaker) had very hard time trying to understand what is he saying. I would suggest to spend a couple hours with a teacher or a native Russian speaker and try to improve the pronunciation.

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not bad

plenty of information on the subject matter but a decided anti-russia and anti-putin bias by the author

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Comprehensive and well written.

A must read for those interested in East-West relations in the 21st century. Very good.

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  • GeorgeW
  • 02-05-15

Incredible prediction.

Published in January 2014 it discusses a scenario for Ukraine that seems so accurate an account of events (as at January 2015) I thought it was a new release! A fascinating book that in the latter half shows patterns of actions that give insight to the current situation and provide a baseline against which to assess new events.

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  • Angus
  • 09-01-21

A mess with a bad narrator

The book is quite poorly paced, makes sweeping assumptions with little justification and the narrator is awful. The narrator simply doesn't care or know about pronunciation in Russian but puts in the effort for French or German. They even called Pogroms "programs" multiple times. The narrator also doesn't make much pause between sentences so it's hard to take in what he says because it's just so relentless.

It's also annoying that the chapters of the book seem so disconnected, the author also has a habit of making sweeping statements and generalisations without much to back them up or explain them.

It's a shame because it's a subject with a lot of potential, but the narration and direction of said narration ruined it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Neil Bartlett
  • 01-29-16

Informative, let down by bad writing and narration

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, it's informative about Putin's motivations and the likely future developments of the region. Includes enough historical background, going back to Tsarist Russia and through the Soviet era, without overwhelming the focus on current events.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The book is let down by the writing and the narration. The author loves long convoluted sentences and showing off his vocabulary. This is aggravated by the overuse of foreign-language expressions. I expected to hear plenty of Russian phrases, but the author throws in French, Latin, German, Italian, even Dutch. For example phrases like "droit de regard" are repeated over and over without explanation; this is not common parlance in the English speaking world, so why not write it in English? Another example: the author refers to the Nazi SA as "Braunhemd"... why not simply "Brownshirts", a word that everybody knows?

As a result of this writing, the narrator is constantly twisting his mouth trying to achieve perfect pronunciation of French, German and Russian phrases, sometimes in the same sentence. He does a reasonable job most of the time, but it's very hard to listen to.

Unfortunately the narrator's pronunciation of Russian names and phrases is weakest. If he at least used the standard anglicized pronunciations of names that we typically hear on TV news, we might at least know whom he was talking about.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Julian Elfer?

Somebody who has studied Russian.

Was Putin's Wars worth the listening time?

Yes.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-03-15

Prescient

Reads like a playbook for current events and includes a warning of what may be to come. A wake up call for those in the west.

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  • David Hogarth
  • 07-01-22

Interesting insight into Russia and Putin.

A very interesting political history of Russia from the distant past to almost the present day. If you are interested in why Putin behaves as he does then this book will enlighten you. A little heavy going in places but well researched.

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  • TonyL
  • 06-30-22

Solid grounding

This was written before the horrors of 2022 but gives an excellent grounding to appreciating the context of what has unfolded. It is thoroughly researched and gives air to a Russian explanation of events under Putin's leadership as well as a detailed perspective from a non-Russian stance, which is more solidly rooted in evidence.
A sound read for anyone wanting to understand Putin and his Russia before the invasion of Ukraine.

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  • Timbo
  • 06-04-22

An excellent book

If you want to find out about the Russian wars, this is the book to read. The analysis leads one to naturally see why and how Russia planned to invade Ukraine in 2022. One can see the same processes being used for dealing with Ukraine as were used in the past recent wars. The predictability of Ukraine was possible back in 1997, with a bread trail leading right to 2022. It was so obvious yet missed.
I hope there will be a follow up examining the Russian invasion of Ukraine and why Russia lost and Putin was removed only to be writing his memoirs in some Danish prison for what’s left of his miserable life.

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  • J. Ball
  • 05-23-22

History repeated

A really good insight what this so called leader thinks and plans the future of his country.

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  • Purchaser
  • 05-12-22

very informative

Great book. useful these days many prescient conclusions about e.g. Putin's next move into Ukraine. sad that the West were complicit in allowing Putin to worm his way into this dangerous position..

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  • W J Smith-Bowers
  • 05-03-22

Thinking Putins Imperalism

A outstanding work of analysis and contemporary research - and if you want understand Putin’s war in Ukrainian- the analysis of his wars in this book is the starting point.

I highly recommend- the only weakness is the audible book does not have a pdf of the references cited - a must for an academic publication.

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  • Tim Curtis
  • 05-19-22

Astonishing. Staggeringly prescient in 2022.

This is an astonishing book. Beyond prescient, this is basically a prophetic book. Reading this book in the middle of Russia's tragic invasion of the Ukraine in 2022 has given me extraordinary insight into why the Kremlin have invaded. He even describes in advance the tactics they have used, based on the precedent of Georgia and Chechnya invasions. This book deserves the highest accolades and awards.

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