RaveThe Irish Independent (IRE)This is the first full biography of Putin and it is unlikely to be matched as a study of the man for some time. It is readable, judicious, critical but balanced, and focused on Putin the person, rather than on the Putin regime ... There is no ‘gotcha’ moment that explains Putin, no single childhood trauma or slight. Short builds up a picture of his character — enigmatic, a mixture of emotional coldness, fits of anger and epic grudge-bearing, and very much focused on himself — by telling his life story straightforwardly and without empty psychologising ... While Putin engages in deadly power games, his regime keeps ticking over. When Putin finally goes, this messy, corrupt, incompetent, and violent regime will live on after him for a long time as a problem for Russia and the world. There’s no better guide as to why this will be Putin’s fault than this exceptional book.