Call it the Big Red Book?
Former leader of the Chinese Communist Party Mao Zedong had his sayings immortalized by the People’s Liberation Army in what became known as the “Little Red Book” – a collection of his observations that ran to about 427 separate quotations and which was standard issue to members of the Communist Party charged with maintaining Party discipline.
This holiday season, members of the Russian governmental elite have been issued a book of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sayings. But if any of them were hoping to slip it into a back pocket and carry it around, they’re going to need to consult a tailor.
The book runs to more than 400 pages. It includes nearly 20 full-length Putin speeches, but the bulk of the tome is made up of a collection of the Russian strongman’s many off-the-cuff remarks about his political opponents and countries that in his view have challenged Russia’s rightful place on the world stage.
Titled The Words That Are Changing the World, it was put together by a pro-Kremlin organization whose name translates roughly as “the network.” The book is reportedly set to go on sale to the Russian general public next month.
Speaking to Reuters, the author, Anton Volodin, explained that the impetus behind the book was a realization that the Russian president is some sort of prophet.
“We had begun to notice that everything which Putin says comes to pass to one degree or another,” he told Reuters. “In this book we traced his words and confirmed this idea.”
Among the quotes are some of Putin’s more earthy comments, such as the promise that the Latvian government could expect to receive “the ears of a dead donkey” from Moscow (meaning “nothing”) as the result of a dispute between the two countries.
The book of quotations arrives just weeks after a 2016 Putin calendar, featuring the Russian leader (naturally) shirtless and in military uniform, went on sale.