Understanding Russia's Modern History With Author Daniel Treisman

Aug 22, 2014

Generations of western leaders have puzzled over how to manage their nation’s relationship with Russia – and headlines in recent months, especially from Ukraine, have only deepened this long-standing challenge.

But Daniel Treisman, in his book "The Return: From Gorbachev to Medvedev," argues that western notions about Russia as an antagonistic and autocratic behemoth are, at best, oversimplified.

His book, an extensive work on Russia’s recent history, takes issue with some of the West’s prevailing beliefs and highlights the personalities that have shaped Russia’s return to the international stage after the fall of the Soviet Union.

His expertise and insight are especially relevant given the increasingly acrimonious relations between the West and Russia over ongoing events in Ukraine and other global flash points.

Daniel Treisman is a professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a leading specialist on Russia’s politics and economics in the post-communist era. He is the author four books and many articles in leading political science and economics journals, as well as public affairs journals like Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy.

"The Return: From Gorbachev to Medvedev" was named one of the best political books of 2011 by the Financial Times, and is now out in paperback.

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