Selcted as one of the “Six must read books on Russia from the last 25 years”by Johnson’s Russia List:
"In my opinion, [Authoritarian Russia] best explains the political backdrop in Russia today. . . . The author looks at the actions taken by Mikhail Gorbachev, which led to the Yeltsin regime and, in turn, the actions taken by Yeltsin that inevitably led to the Putin regime. He then identifies actions and changes made by Putin aimed at extending his position of power at least through another term. He looks at how the trappings of democratic institutions (such as elections and a legislature) have been used, especially by Yeltsin, to create the system of power the country has today. The book is also one of the very few which leaves emotion and bias out of the analysis, and looks pragmatically at what may happen next and what factors, over what period, may lead to changes."
—Johnson's Russia List
“[Gel'man] combines a deep knowledge of Russian political actors, processes, and institutions with a careful reading of relevant comparative politics literatures. He wears his learning lightly and the book is very readable. The result is a book that is both one of the best short introductions available to Russian political development and one of the most sophisticated.”—Democratization
“With this book, Vladimir Gel’man brings together his deep knowledge of the dynamics of the Russian regime and his serious grounding in political science to provide an interpretation of the evolution of the regime since 1991. The result is a masterful synthesis.”—Thomas Remington, Emory University
"“This book is a very useful contribution to the debate on ‘what went wrong’ in Russia. Gel’man has a coherent, theoretically informed, and empirically grounded take on the issue, one which is quite distinct from the prevailing literature. The argument is authoritative, well informed, and convincing.”—Peter Rutland, Wesleyan University