In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones, fresh from St. Martin’s Press. A book of travel, politics and people, written together with Jeffrey Tayler.
In 2000, Vladimir Putin succeeded the ailing Boris Yeltsin as Russian president. Young and determined, he set out on a massive PR campaign with the intent to restore Russia’s lost status as a great power. He traveled around the world to nearly two dozen countries and almost a quarter of Russia’s own 89 regions just during his first year in the Kremlin. Inspired by his country’s enormity, its “limitless land,” Putin aimed to follow it up by traveling to every one of Russia’s eleven time zones on New Year’s Eve 2001 to deliver a speech in all of them at the stroke of midnight.
As grand as the idea was, it was ultimately deemed a feat too impossible to accomplish in one night.
Nearly twenty years later, in the summer of 2017, writer Jeffrey Tayler and I set out to travel in what would have been Putin’s footsteps. Focusing on a town in each time zone, and examining how factors from politics to natural resources define each, we created a portrait of the country, and in doing so measured the success of Putin’s presidency.
Interviews, Presentations, and Reviews
August 11, 2019, review by Bea Hogan, a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, in Peace Corps Worldwide. Jeff was once a Peace Core Volunteer in Morocco.
August-September 2019, Angela Stent’s generous review in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, a publication of The International Institute for Strategic Studies
July 10, book talk at the famed Pushkin House in London. Andrew Jack from The Financial Times, an old friend from his days reporting from Moscow, skillfully moderated.
June 9, the book is on a list of summer readings “Book Bound” in The New Indian Express. In Putin’s Footsteps has only made it close to the end in the Travel and Food section, where frankly, it does not belong. But I guess it is better to be mentioned wherever than not at all.
May 26, Liesl Schillinger’s nice write-up of In Putin’s Footsteps as one of “glorious new titles” in “New Travel Books Take Journeys on Foot, by Boat and Train, Even Dogsled,” The New York Times
May 24, radio interview with Tell Me Everything With John Fugelsang, SiriusXM
May 21, book talk at Labyrinth Books, Princeton, NJ
April 30, radio interview with Press Pool With Julie Mason, SiriusXM
April 22, book talk with Ambassador Michael McFaul at Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, Stanford University, CA
April 19, Konrad Kramar, “Russland-Reise: Von Kant zu Dschingis Khan” [Russia trip: From Kant to Genghis Khan] Der Standard, Austria (in German)
April 18, book discussion at my home university, The New School, in NYC
April 15, book talk at Columbia University, New York
April 14, podcast at The New Context, journal of Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School
April 6, radio interview on Travel with Rick Steves
April 4, “Searching for the Soul of Russia under Putin,” Knowledge@Warton, University of Pennsylvania
April 2, radio interview on Letters and Politics, KPFA
March 26, Oleg Sulkin, “В каком из часовых поясов запрятана душа России?” [Which time zone hides the soul of Russia?] Voice of America (in Russian)
March 23, Montclair Literary Festival, NJ
March 21, book conversation with Steven Lee Myers of The New York Times, author of The New Tsar: The Rise and Rule of Vladimir Putin, Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, Vienna, Austria
March 13, radio interview on The Roundtable, WAMC/NPR
March 8, the audiobook is mentioned by Alexis Gunderson in “19 New Audiobooks You Can’t Miss in 2019,” Paste Magazine
March 5, podcast conversation with EastWest Institute’s president, Ambassador Cameron Munter
March 3, my list of six books to help understand the world in The Week, in connection to In Putin’s Footsteps publication
March 1, excerpts from In Putin’s Footsteps, Russian Life
March 1, radio interview with The Peter Tilden Show, KABC
February 2019, reviewed by Edwin Burgess, Library Journal
February 27, radio interview with Dan Loney, Knowledge@Wharton, Wharton Business Radio (if they could only spell my name)
February 25, Jim Bessman, “Nina Khrushcheva discusses her new book ‘In Putin’s Footsteps,” Centerline
February 22, Karol Markowicz, “Finding Russia’s Soul out of Putin’s Footsteps,” Washington Examiner
February 21, book conversation with Susan Glasser of the New Yorker magazine, New York Public Library
February 20, radio interview with Ian Masters Background Briefing about Vladimir Putin’s State of the Nation Address, and also the book
February 18, Galina Dudina, “Russia is More than the Kremlin,” Kommersant, Russia (in Russian)
February 16, one of New York Post‘s Best Books of the Week
February 15, some excerpts from In Putin’s Footsteps, The Hartmann Report