Atlantic Books, 2015, 322 pages
The ascension of Vladimir Putin - a former lieutenant colonel of the KGB - to the presidency of Russia in 1999 should have been a signal that the country was headed away from democracy. Yet in the intervening years - as America and the world's other leading powers have continued to appease him - Putin has grown into not only a dictator but a global threat. With his vast resources and nuclear weapons, Putin is at the center of a worldwide assault on political liberty.
For Garry Kasparov, none of this is news. He has been a vocal critic of Putin for over a decade, even leading the pro-democracy opposition to him in the farcical 2008 presidential election. Yet years of seeing his Cassandra-like prophecies about Putin's intentions fulfilled have left Kasparov with the realization of a darker truth: Putin's Russia, like ISIS or al-Qaeda, defines itself in opposition to the free countries of the world. He is still fighting the Cold War, even as Americans have first moved beyond it and, over time, forgotten its lessons.
Lest we be drawn into another prolonged conflict, Kasparov now urges a forceful stand - diplomatic and economic - against him. For as long as the world's powerful democracies continue to recognize and negotiate with Putin, he can maintain credibility in his home country. He faces few strong enemies within his country, so meaningful opposition must come from abroad. Argued with the force of Kasparov's world-class intelligence, conviction, and hopes for his home country, Winter Is Coming is an unmistakable call to action against a threat we've ignored for too long.
With some relevance to this year's presidential election.
My complete list of book reviews.