Putin’s Russia: The Rise of a Dictator

Drawn & Quarterly. Feb. 2022. 164p. ISBN 9781770465046. pap. $24.95. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Cunningham (Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful) details Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s rise to become one of the most powerful—and potentially dangerous—men on the planet in this riveting, thoroughly researched biography. Born in 1952, Putin’s spent his childhood in St. Petersburg, where he developed a reputation as a vicious street fighter. In 1975 he was recruited by the KGB and sent to Dresden, where he recruited assets to smuggle Western technology into the Eastern Bloc. After ascending the KGB’s ranks, he left the intelligence service to become a government bureaucrat, and in 1991 found himself well-positioned to exploit, for personal gain, the economic and political turmoil created by the Soviet Union’s demise. Putin amassed a personal fortune before being elected president in 2000. From there, Cunningham details the many cases in which Putin’s opponents have been killed and examines his administration’s foreign policy; Cunningham finally concludes that his subject represents a threat to global democracy.
VERDICT Cunningham’s simplistic, unobtrusive cartooning and keen ability to communicate a clear narrative (even with the multitude of characters and historical events detailed here) create an insightful, often-chilling account of both Putin and Russian history since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing