an illustration of Putin sitting on a throne holding a rifle at the top of the cover, and another illustration of the iconic colorful towers of St. Petersburg at the bottom

Accidental Czar: The Life and Lies of Vladimir Putin

by Andrew S. Weiss Author and Brian "Box" Brown Illustrator

In this graphic accounting of Vladimir Putin's life, author and former national advisor on Russia Andrew S. Weiss and illustrator Brian "Box" Brown tell the story of Putin's rise to strongman leader of Russia from his beginnings as a KGB agent in the Soviet Union. How did an otherwise unassuming mid-level agent become the leader of one of the world's superpowers? And what explains his tyrannical and imperialist behavior in today's geopolitical context? Weiss explains that the West has repeatedly overestimated Putin, attributing to genius and strategic thinking what is better explained by luck and calculated political performance. Timely in the context of today's conflict in Ukraine, Accidental Czar tells Putin's story and busts myths about this intelligence agent turned autocrat.