TIME’s Person of the Year is Putin
He doesn’t care about civil liberties, he doesn’t care about free speech. He was very bitter about the way Americans look at him and the way Americans’ treat him. He is an angry, angry man
Eighteen years ago, Mikhail Gorbachev was
named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year for leading the political
revolution that tore down the Iron Curtain and broke apart the Soviet
Union. This year, Vladimir Putin, the man who restored Russia to a
leading role on the world stage, has taken that title.
highly anticipated announcement was made live on Wednesday on TODAY by
TIME managing editor Richard Stengel. He said that TIME’s readers had
chosen author J.K. Rowling first in an online poll.
Putin won the title for taking Russia from chaos to a position of
importance in the world today. Being TIME's Person of the Year is not
necessarily an honor, in Putin's csae.
Stengel characterized Putin as dynamic but dangerous. “He
doesn’t care about civil liberties, he doesn’t care about free speech.
He was very bitter about the way Americans look at him and the way
Americans’ treat him. He is an angry, angry man," Stengel said.
said one thing that makes Putin extraordinary is that he is not
interested in making people like him. “He has no charm,” Stengel said.
“He is just pure force and pure force of will.”
editors chose the controversial Putin over a list of candidates that
included former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Prize for his
battle against global warming; Rowling, who published the seventh and
final chapter of her Harry Potter series; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the
confrontational president of Iran; Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice;
Apple CEO Steve Jobs; Gen. David Petraeus, leader of the Iraq surge;
and Chinese leader Hu Jintao.
is the fourth Russian leader to be chosen Person of the Year. Joseph
Stalin was named twice, in 1939 for signing the alliance that opened
the doors for Hitler’s war on Europe and in 1942 for joining the Allies
in World War II. In 1957, Nikita Kruschev, the Soviet leader at the
height of the Cold War, won for leading the effort to put the first
satellite in space. And in 1989, Gorbachev was on the cover for ending
the Cold War.