Empire, Revolution, and the New Tsar Is Russia in the hands of a lunatic? Ever since Vladimir Putin s presidential incarnation, pundits and political analysts have asked this question with increasing frequency. Known for his aggressive politics abroad, and irresponsible despotism domestically, the leader of the world s largest nation holds seemingly limitless control over his people. But Putin is only the latest face of Russian political power: understanding his rule means understanding Russia. In Russia: Putin s Playground, Anastasia Edel explores the tumultuous relationship between the Russian state and its people, and traces Russia s history from its inception through Putin's controversial rule. In a series of short and punchy articles, Putin s Playground examines every facet of Russian life and culture from literature to oligarchs including Peter the Great to punk protesters Pussy Riot."