From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia

From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia

by Michael McFaul


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From the diplomat Putin wants to interrogate—and has banned from Russia—a revelatory, inside account of U.S.-Russia relations from 1989 to the present

“A fascinating and timely account of the current crisis in the relationship between Russia and the United States.” New York Times Book Review

Putin would need an enemy, and he turned to the most reliable one in Russia’s recent history: the United States and then, by extension, me.

In 2008, when Michael McFaul was asked to leave his perch at Stanford and join an unlikely presidential campaign, he had no idea that he would find himself at the beating heart of one of today’s most contentious and consequential international relationships. As President Barack Obama’s adviser on Russian affairs, McFaul helped craft the United States’ policy known as “reset” that fostered new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. And then, as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, he had a front-row seat when this fleeting, hopeful moment crumbled with Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency. This riveting inside account combines history and memoir to tell the full story of U.S.-Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the new rise of the hostile, paranoid Russian president. From the first days of McFaul’s ambassadorship, the Kremlin actively sought to discredit and undermine him, hassling him with tactics that included dispatching protesters to his front gates, slandering him on state media, and tightly surveilling him, his staff, and his family.

From Cold War to Hot Peace is an essential account of the most consequential global confrontation of our time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328624383
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 76,508
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

MICHAEL MCFAUL is a professor of political science and director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He served in President Obama’s National Security Council, then as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation. Dr. McFaul is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to the Washington Post.

Table of Contents

Prologue vii


1 The First Reset 1

2 Democrats of the World, Unite! 22

3 Yeltsin's Partial Revolution 38

4 Putin's Thermidor 57


5 Change We Can Believe In 76

6 Launching the Reset 86

7 Universal Values 109

8 The First (and Last) Moscow Summit 120

9 New START 139

10 Denying Iran the Bomb 158

11 Hard Accounts: Russia's Neighborhood and Missile Defense 176

12 Burgers and Spies 194

13 The Arab Spring, Libya, and the Beginning of the End of the Reset 205

14 Becoming "His Excellency" 228


15 Putin Needs an Enemy-America, Obama, and Me 239

16 Getting Physical 264

17 Pushback 280

18 Twitter and the Two-Step 298

19 It Takes Two to Tango 316

20 Chasing Russians, Failing Syrians 330

21 Dueling on Human Rights 359

22 Going Home 379

23 Annexation and War in Ukraine 393

24 The End of Resets (for Now) 409

Epilogue: Trump and Putin 429

Acknowledgments 461

Notes 464

Index 498

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From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should be on everyone's list to read, especially in light of the current events involving Russia and the 2016 election. Our country and democracy is under siege by Putin.
troutrivers More than 1 year ago
The author is perhaps the person that Putin hates above and beyond all others. He is the former diplomat that Putin asked Trump to send to Moscow for questioning, despite the fact that Putin had him banned from travel to Russia after he left his posting to Moscow as ambassador in the Obama years. To Putin he was the ultimate budinsky. Meeting with opposition folks, hosting seminars at his residence in Moscow to promote democracy in Russia. Putin had restricted his travel rights in Russia for running around the country to host such meeting - so he invited people to visit him at his residence. And there was a lot of other harassment as well - such as Russian security detaining his wife for 30 minutes outside the embassy in arctic cold weather - they needed to verify who she was of course. McFaul never told anyone to vote for Putin or for any of his opponents - but to Putin, involving himself in any effort to make Russia a democracy in the western sense was unacceptable and unforgivable interference in Russian internal affairs.