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The first comprehensive, fully up-to-date biography of Vladimir Putin, woven into the tumultuous saga of Russia over the last sixty yearsVladimir Putin is the world's most dangerous man. Alone among world leaders, he has the power to reduce the United States and Europe to ashes in a nuclear firestorm and has threatened to do so. He invades his neighbors, most recently Ukraine, meddles in western elections, and orders assassinations inside and outside Russia. His regime is autocratic and deeply corrupt. But that is only half the story. Unflinching, hard-hitting, and objective, Philip Short's biography gives us the whole tale, up to the present day. To the fullest extent anyone has yet been able, Short cracks open the strongman's thick carapace to reveal the man underneath those bare-chested horseback rides. In this deeply researched account, readers meet the Putin who slept in the same room as his parents until he was twenty-five years old, who backed out of his wedding right beforehand, and who learned English in order to be able to talk to George W. Bush. Vladimir Putin is wreaking havoc in Europe, threatening global peace and stability and exposing his fellow citizens to devastating economic countermeasures. Yet puzzlingly many Russians continue to support him. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the many facets of the man behind the mask that Putin wears on the world stage. Drawing on almost two hundred interviews conducted over eight years in Russia, the United States, and Europe and on source material in more than a dozen languages, Putin will be the last word for years to come.