The book Should We Fear Russia? by Dmitri Trenin focuses on the prospective threat Russia poses to other countries. The author takes the reader through Russia's past and present and addresses the root causes for other countries' widespread fear of Russia. This book stands out from other books about Russia because Trenin is from Russia and writes from his point of view, and it is important to include Russian voices in the discussion to create a better understanding of the country many people fear. In the end, Trenin believes that the fears many hold about Russia's place in the world are well-rooted in the country's history, albeit unnecessary and detached from the actual threat Russia poses.
Trenin breaks the book into four sections: the first section discusses fears of Russia and a brief history of Russia’s past after the cold war; the next section addresses goals of Russia and how those goals impact other countries; the third section discusses ways other countries keep Russia "in check"; and lastly, the fourth section offers comments on modern Russia and how other countries currently relate to Russia. Throughout the book, Trenin offers a thorough explanation of Russia’s past and how it connects to present realities and perceptions.
Overall, I found this to be a thought-provoking book that makes a complex situation more accessible for the average reader and world citizen. My recommendation to the author would be to release a new edition in light of the news attention Russia has received over the past year for its alleged influences on the last U.S. presidential election.
About the Author
Emily Hattan is a student at Florida Southern College studying Criminology and Psychology.