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Russia: Putin's Playground

Empire, Revolution and the New Tsar

(Callisto Media, Berkeley)


Release Date: January 5, 2016

"Anastasia Edel provides a beautifully written and richly illustrated introduction to Russian cultural and political history. Russia: Putin’s Playground is equally lively and insightful, a guide to Russia’s future as much as its past, a perfect primer to a country too often misunderstood in America."

Anthony Marra

Bestselling author of"Constellation of Vital Phenomena" and "The Tsar of Love and Techno"


"This book is perfect for anyone with a growing concern about Russia, but without the knowledge to make informed opinions about the interests of the Russian state and the foreign policy decisions of its leader, Vladimir Putin. This book rightly explains the Russian foreign policy psyche via its history and culture, and explains with nuance as to why Russia and the West, especially the United States, have disagreements on many geopolitical issues."

Dr. Ryan Maness

Visiting Fellow in Political Science, Northeastern University


"Excellent introduction to political and historical Russia. Up to date, accurate, and visually arresting. This would be my recommendation for anyone wanting to catch up on and understand modern Russia."

Dr. Brandon Valeriano, University of Glasgow, Senior Lecturer in Global Security and Author of "Russia's Coercive Diplomacy"


Smart, balanced, concise, Putin's Playground includes a history of Russia and an overview of its cultural and intellectual history. Plus, Putin! If you or someone you know has any interest in Russia, get this book! ―

Dan Lyons, bestselling author of "Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-up Bubble" and a senior writer for HBO's Silicon Valley


Conversation with Annemarie O'Brien about "Putin's Playground" 

on World Reads

(March 2016)



Featured in the Democracy Digest, the official National Endowment for Democracy Publication -- November 2017

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