The Folly and the Glory

Tim Weiner

September 2020 Current Affairs, History

Russia’s modern revival of the Soviet intelligence state in the twenty-first century has undermined countries across Europe and in the U.S. Weiner takes us behind closed doors to show how Putin uses propaganda, sabotage, diplomacy, espionage, stealing an election, sparking a revolution to infiltrate the minds of a citizenry.

The definitive book on political warfare between America and Russia, The Folly and the Glory offers a roadmap to present day: America is practicing political warfare for the first time since the end of the Cold War. It’s projecting power against Russia without launching missiles or sending in the marines. It’s using the full spectrum of intelligence, diplomacy, and economic sanctions. It’s unveiling secret intelligence to expose Putin’s disinformation and lies. It is a battle for the truth – and this book is the history of that battle.


“[A] colorful and richly detailed account…Weiner briskly relates a treasure trove of declassified material from the Cold War and draws on insider accounts to present a plausible portrait of the current state of affairs. Newshounds and espionage fans will be enthralled.”—Publishers Weekly

“Gripping…unnervingly insightful.”—Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*

“In this fraught, globally consequential 2020 campaign season, one could hardly ask for a better explanation of how we landed here.”―Booklist, *starred review*

“There is no bigger or more consequential modern history than this. Writing with his inimitable fierce, forceful urgency, Tim Weiner traces the eye-opening and astounding story of 75 years of shadow conflict between the US and Russia. This book will stand alongside works like Evan Thomas and Walter Issacson’s The Wise Men and Robert Gates’ From The Shadows as the essential histories of the Cold War, a war that as Weiner outlines, never really ended in Russia’s eyes.” ―Garrett M. Graff, author of the New York Times bestseller The Only Plane in The Sky

“Gripping…unnervingly insightful.”—Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*

The Folly and the Glory is a riveting spy thriller made all the more chilling because thanks to Tim Weiner’s meticulous reporting, it is all true. Anyone trying to understand the current tensions between the U.S. and Russia over election interference and much else needs to read this fascinating history.” ―Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

The Folly and the Glory is a wake-up call to the nation about the threat from Russia. This book details the seventy-five-year battle between the United States and Russia―the success and the failures. As a former Director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, I can attest to the reality of the political warfare. The most sobering conclusion is that we may be in danger of losing that war.” ―Leon E. Panetta, chairman of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy and former Secretary of Defense

“Tim Weiner, our most intrepid historian of national security’s dark secrets, pulls off another triumph with The Folly and the Glory, a fast-paced and revelatory chronicle showing that the Kremlin’s campaign to subvert American democracy is but the latest chapter in a struggle that began with the Cold War―and the blowback to the type of ‘political warfare’ that the U.S. invented.” ―Fred Kaplan, author of The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War and Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War