OnlineBookClub.org review of "Vladimir Putin - Top leader of modern humankind" by Ashok Gupta
As one of the most powerful people on Earth, Vladimir Putin has his fair share of unconditional supporters and sworn enemies. It’s often hard to distinguish fact from fiction and reality from propaganda, especially considering how the West routinely demonizes Russia. Ashok Gupta’s Vladimir Putin - Top Leader of Modern Humankind attempts to showcase an alternative view while increasing the reader’s knowledge of modern Russia.
The book presents a concise historical overview of Russia from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the present days, with an emphasis on Putin’s political career; explains the country’s internal and foreign policies; and analyses various global issues, especially from the perspective of Russia.
From the title alone, the book’s unabashed pro-Putin stance is obvious, so readers can’t say they haven’t been warned. That said, the book doesn’t shy away from pointing out Putin’s concerning moves when it comes to human rights organizations, activists, and critics, as well as the violation of media freedom, though these topics are mentioned in passing and don’t influence the book’s thesis in any way. Matters of foreign policy, however, receive a much more one-sided analysis. I was particularly bothered by how the author oversimplified such a complex and deadly conflict as the Syrian civil war.
A few things the book brings up feel severely out of place in a rational political discussion. At one point, the author gives a very confusing introduction to Shemitah (the last year of a seven-year agricultural cycle according to the Torah) and uses it as a tool of political and economic analysis. There are also talks of prophecy and even extraterrestrial civilizations, as well as some juvenile memes comparing Obama to Putin, positioning the latter as a supreme alpha male.