January 28 at 7:00 AM
PublicAffairs will publish “Winter is Coming” this fall, timed for the foreign-policy debates in the U.S. primaries.
For more than a decade, chess champion-turned human rights activist Garry Kasparov has been warning the world that Russian President Vladimir Putin would do anything to retain and expand his power. Now Kasparov is expanding his criticisms into book form: This fall, he will publish “Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped.”
“Kasparov wants this book out fast, in a way that has potential to influence the discussion during the [U.S.] primary season,” explained David Steinberger, president and chief executive of the Perseus Group, whose PublicAffairs imprint has acquired the title.
Kasparov, now based in New York, said in a telephone interview this week that the rise of Putin is part of a wider challenge — “a conflict of modernity and the past.” Excerpts from our conversation:
Q. You’ve written extensively about Putin in recent years. What can we expect that will be different or new in this book?
A. My first article warning about Putin was on Jan. 4, 2001, in the Wall Street Journal. At that time I couldn’t imagine how far he could go. After the annexation of Crimea and his blatant aggression against Ukraine, I felt it was time to present my views in a more organized fashion. The book will put everything in historical perspective. There is a delusion in the West of Putin being a reliable partner, that he is indispensable for [dealing with] Afghanistan, the Iranian nuclear program, the war on terror and a climate solution. Putin was very smart by playing all those cards all those years.
But the book is not just about Putin — it is about a conflict of modernity and the past. I will analyze the overwhelming failure of the free world to build safer and more politically advanced international institutions at the end of the Cold War. The book starts in 1989, explains how Russia missed its opportunity to reform and ends with a global picture. It is not a biography, but there are many anecdotes of my personal interaction with Russian, American and European leaders — and the outcomes of those engagements.