The book by Russia expert Karen Dawisha alleges that Putin and a small group of fellow ex-KGB agents used their government connections to enrich themselves in the early 1990s. It also alleges links between Putin and organised crime in St Petersburg, detailing shady connections it claims the Russian president holds.
The Cambridge University Press got cold feet and rejected the book, instead sending a letter to Mrs Dawisha explaining that they would not publish it.
In the letter reproduced by the Economist the publishers write:
“…given the controversial subject matter of the book, and its basic premise that Putin’s power is founded on his links to organised crime, we are not convinced that there is a way to rewrite the book that would give us the necessary comfort.”