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The Limits of Partnership:
U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century
Angela E. Stent

Winner of the 2014 Douglas Dillon Award, American Academy of Diplomacy
One of Bloomberg Businessweek’s Best Books of 2015, chosen by Daniel Fuss
One of Bloomberg Businessweek’s Best Books of 2014, chosen by Dan Fuss

Hardcover | 2014 | $39.95 | £32.95 | ISBN: 9780691152974
384 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 21 halftones. 2 maps
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The Limits of Partnership offers a riveting narrative on U.S.-Russian relations since the Soviet collapse and on the challenges ahead. It reflects the unique perspective of an insider who is also recognized as a leading expert on this troubled relationship. American presidents have repeatedly attempted to forge a strong and productive partnership only to be held hostage to the deep mistrust born of the Cold War. For the United States, Russia remains a priority because of its nuclear weapons arsenal, its strategic location bordering Europe and Asia, and its ability to support--or thwart--American interests. Why has it been so difficult to move the relationship forward? What are the prospects for doing so in the future? Is the effort doomed to fail again and again?

Angela Stent served as an adviser on Russia under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and maintains close ties with key policymakers in both countries. Here, she argues that the same contentious issues--terrorism, missile defense, Iran, nuclear proliferation, Afghanistan, the former Soviet space, the greater Middle East--have been in every president's inbox, Democrat and Republican alike, since the collapse of the USSR. Stent vividly describes how Clinton and Bush sought inroads with Russia and staked much on their personal ties to Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin--only to leave office with relations at a low point--and how Barack Obama managed to restore ties only to see them undermined by a Putin regime resentful of American dominance and determined to restore Russia's great power status.

The Limits of Partnership calls for a fundamental reassessment of the principles and practices that drive U.S.-Russian relations, and offers a path forward to meet the urgent challenges facing both countries.


"In her largely chronological account of U.S.-Russian relations since 1990, Ms. Stent gives a comprehensive overview of the obstacles that have prevented a closer relationship."--Yascha Mount, Wall Street Journal

"[L]ucid. . . . [R]eadable and sometimes surprising."--Kirkus Reviews

"[M]agisterial."--The Economist

"[Stent's] compelling book provides perhaps the most comprehensive and sober--as well as sobering--assessment of relations across the past two decades."--Neil Buckley, Financial Times

"Stent . . . expertly condenses the past two decades of this tumultuous relationship with an insider's command of detail."--Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Times Higher Education

"In The Limits of Partnership, Stent . . . clearly and carefully lays out the contentious issues that have divided the United States and Russia since the end of the Cold War."--Glenn C. Altschuler, Huffington Post

"Until now, there have been no broad-based studies of the vexed contemporary U.S.-Russian relationship in English--or, for that matter, in Russian. This volume fills that void admirably."--Foreign Affairs

"Truly outstanding."--Mark Adomanis,

"[An] insightful and balanced assessment of two decades of post-Soviet interaction between Washington and Moscow. . . . Stent draws many useful lessons from the ups-and-downs in the U.S.-Russian relationship."--Paul J. Saunders, National Interest

"In her magisterial new book The Limits of Partnership, Angela Stent performs a great service by showing that the end of the Obama Reset is only one part of a much broader pattern that goes back to the end of the Soviet Union."--Donald N. Jensen, Institute of Modern Russia

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Table of Contents:

Introduction ix
List of Acronyms xvii
George H. W. Bush and Russia Reborn 1
Chapter One The Bill and Boris Show 13
Chapter Two Rethinking Euro-Atlantic Security 35
Chapter Three Bush and Putin in the Age of Terror 49
Chapter Four The Iraq War 82
Chapter Five The Color Revolutions 97
Illustrations following page 123
Chapter Six The Munich Speech 135
Chapter Seven From Kosovo to Georgia: Things Fall Apart 159
Chapter Eight Economics and Energy: The Stakeholder Challenge 177
Chapter Nine Reset or Overload? The Obama Initiative 211
Chapter Ten From Berlin to Damascus: Disagreements Old and New 235
Chapter Eleven The Limits of Partnership 255
Acknowledgments 275
List of Interviewees 279
Chronology of Major Events in U.S.-Russian Relations 283
Notes 293
Bibliography 321
Credits for Illustration Section 327
Index 329

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Angela E. Stent:

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