As Russian President Vladimir Putin maneuvers to remain in power after 2024, the perennial questions about his goals and effective Western responses continue to preoccupy researchers observing Russia. Using George Kennan's Long Telegram, which guided US policy throughout the Cold War, as a metaphoric framework, Eltsov (National Defense Univ.) addresses these questions in a narrative organized around themes of autocracy, expansionism, and ethnically defined identity in Russia. He reviews Soviet and Russian transgressions against other countries, ranging from the horrific—the Soviet murder of over 20,000 Poles in 1940—to the trivial and bizarre—Russian public figures' belief that American women's sexual harassment allegations reflect frustration in a country where men are either gay or impotent. Eltsov persuasively argues that American efforts to promote democracy in Russia are not only wrongheaded, but counterproductive. . . Eltsov's narrative is highly engaging and serves as a very good, if selective, introduction to Putin's Russia. This well-documented book also includes a long, mainly Russian-language bibliography. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers through upper-division undergraduates.