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  • Published: 20 August 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141988412
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 544
  • RRP: $24.99

From Cold War to Hot Peace

The Inside Story of Russia and America

From one of the world's leading scholars of Russia and former ambassador, a revelatory, inside account of U.S.-Russia relations from 1989 to the present

In 2008, when Michael McFaul was asked to leave his perch at Stanford and join an unlikely presidential campaign, he had no idea that he would find himself at the beating heart of one of today's most contentious and consequential international relationships. As President Barack Obama's adviser on Russian affairs, McFaul helped craft the United States' policy known as "reset" that fostered new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. And then, as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, he had a front-row seat when this fleeting, hopeful moment crumbled with Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency.

This riveting inside account combines history and memoir to tell the full story of U.S.-Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the new rise of the hostile, paranoid Russian president. From the first days of McFaul's ambassadorship, the Kremlin actively sought to discredit and undermine him, hassling him with tactics that included dispatching protesters to his front gates, slandering him on state media, and tightly surveilling him, his staff, and his family.

From Cold War to Hot Peace is an essential account of the most consequential global confrontation of our time.

  • Published: 20 August 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141988412
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 544
  • RRP: $24.99

Praise for From Cold War to Hot Peace

Praise for previous academic works by Michael McFaul


Well informed and judicious

The New York Times

There are simply no better scholars of Russian democracy writing today than Michael McFaul

Stephen Sestanovich, Council on Foreign Relations and former Ambassador

Empirically rich and theoretically informed

Timothy J Colton, Director of Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University

A path-breaking study of Russian politics ... Deeply informative, fascinating, and at times gripping history

Journal of Democracy, Larry Diamond

Mike McFaul gives us a broad, thoughtful analysis of a critical shift in world affairs. Read From Cold War to Hot Peace for timely, informative, and intriguing insights on changing US-Russia relations.

George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan (1982-1989)

As both a first-hand observer and a key participant in many of the recent events that have shaped US-Russia relations, Ambassador McFaul has an important story to tell. From Cold War to Hot Peace is a gripping and intensely personal account of one of the most complex and consequential geopolitical developments of our time.

Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State under Bill Clinton (1997-2001)

Mike McFaul has lived history. In this terrific book, he recounts a pivotal time in U.S.-Russian relations, bringing the perspective of a central participant and one of America's finest scholars of Russian politics. This book will be valued by students, experts, historians and diplomats for years to come

Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State under George W. Bush (2005-2009)

This is an indispensable book. McFaul is a candid and insightful guide to the history, personalities, and politics that continue to shape one of America's most consequential relationships

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State under Barack Obama (2009-2013)

Michael McFaul left his posting as the US ambassador in Moscow in February 2014, as the Russian annexation of the Crimea inaugurated the worst crisis in the East-West relations in generation. In this thoughtful and clearly written account McFaul, one of the architects of President Obama's "reset" policy vis-à-vis Moscow, provides a unique insight in the chain of events that ended the new 'détente" and put the two nuclear superpowers on the brink of a new Cold War. This is a must read for everyone who wants to understand contemporary Russia and the dangerous world we live in today.

Serhii Plokhy, Harvard University, author of Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy

McFaul provides useful insights into the changing relationship between America and Russia in this smart, personable mix of memoir and political analysis... an essential volume for those trying to understand one of the U.S.'s most significant current rivals

Publisher's Weekly

Of interest to observers of the unfolding constitutional crisis as well as of Russia's place in the international order


McFaul's lively memoir is an up-close account of how Washington tried to find common ground with a Kremlin crippled by suspicion... McFaul comes at Putin from a special corner: as a boyish enthusiast for engagement with Russia. [...] As a young academic he was hungry to know about how the Soviet Union was going to break up. As an evangelist for democratic change he made contact with dissidents. And then, as special assistant to the president and ambassador, he was behind Barack Obama's 'reset' of relations with Russia

The Times

Impressive... a candid expert account ... McFaul is a senior policymaker both hugely knowledgeable about and admiring of Russia ... Essential reading

Financial Times

McFaul sheds needed light on the most geopolitically competitive relationship of the last 75 years


Vigorously argued...McFaul's contribution to the debate is significant, based on his experience as a political practitioner as well as an academic analyst

Washington Post

Careful about providing evidence for his hard-earned opinions, the Stanford professor is always clear and successfully assesses the level of complexity we lay-readers need to understand academic theories about revolutions and economics... Persuasive and convincing

Christian Science Monitor

An engaging, well-penned account of McFaul's days in Moscow


In From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia, Michael McFaul examines how U.S.-Russia relations have evolved since 1989. He draws on history as well as the unique perspective he gained while serving as an ambassador. Given what's going on in the world, this book couldn't be more timely


An invaluable memoir

David Remnick

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