Cilt 1, Sayı 3, Aralık 2009
Bill BAGATELAS

Misinterpreting Modern Russia: Western Views of Putin and His Presidency

Bill BAGATELAS*
Well published author, Bruno Sergi, a professor of international economics at the University of Messina, wrote this new, provocative book entitled “Misinterpreting Modern Russia: Western Views of Putin and His Presidency,” (Continuum, New York). This impressive work has been completed while teaching at New York University during 2005 and 2007. He reinterprets the Russians, Russia, and Vladimir Putin more fairly than the West overall thus far. Today, we can confidently state this new analysis is vastly more realistic and accurate as it captures Putin, Russia, and the Russians in a much more objective light.
Mr. Putin is very popular and well respected by Russians from all walks of life. This book thus represents an excellent opportunity to bridge the seemingly expanding gap between Western perceptions of Russian realities and actual realities faced by Russia. This includes the time period from perestroika and glasnost, through the 1990s and into and during Mr. Putin’s entire presidency. It is also interesting and very important to note this book is being released at a time when the U.S. and the West, and possibly the entire world, are experiencing what might be the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Equally important is to see Mr. Putin as Prime Minister following the US election of Barrack Obama. Mr. Putin is being tested in new ways by the new US administration of President Obama, with this book showing Mr. Putin’s versatility in dealing with new challenges in a variety of ways. Since the West has continually applied double standards and biased judgment concerning many world issues, current realities at present clearly call for reinterpreting not only the financial crises faced by countries and companies, but also for reinterpreting Russia as well. The West needs a new interpretation of both Russia and the global economic crisis. The public in the US especially needs this
* Dr., Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Alternative Politics, Vol. 1, No. 3, 428-429, December 2009 429
interpretation, now that new US President Obama has openly criticized Mr. Putin’s continuing influential role in Russia.
“Misinterpreting Modern Russia” provides an informed look at how and why benefits and drawbacks associated with controversial Kremlin policy occurred over the past eight years. Professor Sergi’s book is about Kremlin triumphs and failures, which are uniquely explained coherently, with logical, fact-based arguments.