A refreshing and deeply reported look at the political, economic, and cultural changes in Russia, with an in-depth examination of Vladimir Putin’s rise, the power of the oligarchy, and what it means for the world.Almost twenty-five years after Mikhail Gorbachev began radically reshaping his country, Russia has changed beyond recognition. In his third book on this subject, Professor Daniel Treisman takes stock of the country that has emerged from the debris of Soviet communism and addresses the questions that preoccupy scholars of its history and politics: Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Could its collapse have been avoided? Did Yeltsin destroy too much or too little of the Soviet political order? What explains Putin’s unprecedented popularity with the Russian public? Based on two decades of research and his own experiences in the country, Treisman cuts through the scholarly and journalistic debates to provide a portrait of a country returning to the international community on its own terms. At a time when global politics are more important than ever, The Return illuminates the inner workings of a country that has increasingly come to influence, and which will continue to shape, American foreign policy and world events.