In his timely My Russia: War or Peace? (RiverRun Press, 2023), Mikhail Shishkin provides a searing account of Russian political culture that explains both Putin's autocratic regime and its invasion of Ukraine. An Russian emigre who has lived in Switzerland for many years and writes in Russian and German, Shishkin traces the roots of Russia's problems, from 'Kievan Rus' through to the current Russian Federation. He explores the uneasy relationship between state and citizens, explains Russian attitudes to people's rights and democracy, and proposes that there are really two Russian peoples: the disillusioned and disaffected, who suffer from 'slave mentality', and those who embrace 'European' values and try to stand up to oppression. It is also a deeply personal account intertwining his family's history with Russia's tumultuous past century.
Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Hermes in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at DanielxPeris@gmail.com or via Twitter @HistoryInvestor. His History and Investing blog and Keep Calm & Carry On Investing podcast are here.