Midnight in Moscow

A Memoir from the Front Lines of Russia's War Against the West

Coming Soon


By John J. Sullivan

Foreword by General Jim Mattis

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$20.99 CAD

A memoir of service by the American ambassador who was on the diplomatic front lines when Putin invaded Ukraine, Midnight in Moscow is the first behind-the-scenes account of how U.S.-Russia relations hit their nadir—and a playbook for our unfolding confrontation.

For weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, John J. Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, was warning that it would happen. When troops finally crossed the border, he was woken in the middle of the night with a prearranged code. The signal was even more bracing than the February cold: it meant that Sullivan needed to collect his bodyguards and get to the embassy as soon as possible. The war had begun, and the world would never be the same.

In Midnight in Moscow, Sullivan leads readers into the offices of the U.S. embassy and the halls of the Kremlin during this climactic period—among the most dangerous since World War II. He shows how the Putin regime repeatedly lied about its intentions to invade Ukraine in the weeks leading up to the attack, while also devoting huge numbers of personnel and vast resources to undermining the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia. And he explains how, when Putin ultimately gave the order to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, he proved that Russia was not just at war with its neighbor: it was also at war, in a very real sense, with the United States, and with everything that it represents. But while Putin decided how this conflict started, its ending will be shaped by us.
With his unique perspective on a pivotal moment in world history, Sullivan shows how our relationship with Russia has deteriorated, where it’s headed, and how far we should be prepared to go in standing up to the menace in Moscow.

  • Midnight in Moscow is an elegantly written and riveting account of serving in the toughest diplomatic post in the world.  John Sullivan’s empathy, dedication to duty, and humility run through this book.  I hope that young Americans will read it, and will and emulate the author’s commitment to selfless service.”
    H.R. McMaster, New York Times bestselling author of Dereliction of Duty, Battlegrounds, and At War with Ourselves
  • “John Sullivan's deep understanding of decision-making by Putin and other Russian senior leaders is rivaled only by legendary observers such as Ambassadors Kennan, Harriman, or Burns. His writing is crisp as he walks us through the critical meetings and crises from Covid to the fall of Afghanistan to the unprovoked war of aggression when Russia invaded Ukraine, clearly describing the various events in detail as if you are there in the room but also, and more importantly, explaining the ‘why’ and ‘what is to be done’ from a U.S. National Security perspective. Midnight in Moscow is a fascinating eyewitness account and a must-read for anyone interested in the most consequential events of our time."
    Mark Milley, General (Retired), U.S. Army
  • "Riveting and rich in detail, Midnight in Moscow ranges from the 'pressure cooker' of Donald Trump's Washington to the 'hot seat' of Moscow, offering an illuminating account of the last-ditch diplomatic efforts to head off disaster as Vladimir Putin careens toward war with Ukraine. Readers will be grateful that such a distinguished diplomat was on hand for this difficult time."
    Fiona Hill, New York Times bestselling author of There Is Nothing for You Here
  • Midnight in Moscow is nonfiction that reads like a thriller. With rich, personal details, John Sullivan lifts the curtain on the real Russia and offers a compelling portrait of tough, effective diplomacy in our complex world.”
    Wendy R. Sherman, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
  • “An extraordinary if not unprecedented frontline memoir by one of our nation's most experienced public servants, Midnight in Moscow weaves history, politics, and firsthand accounts into a timeless and valuable portrait of contemporary U.S.-Russia relations. Ambassador Sullivan’s remarkable narrative gives policy makers and casual readers alike a rare glimpse into the makeup and future of one of the planet’s most challenging and critical bilateral relationships.”
    Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and China
  • “The roster of public servants who have held the ambassadorial post in Moscow includes names like George Kennan and Averell Harriman, and John Sullivan has earned a place in the same sentence as those celebrated gentlemen… Midnight in Moscow is not only a compelling account of Sullivan’s years as our ambassador to Russia and a brilliant assessment of what lurks inside the mind of Vladimir Putin, but also a master class in how to be an effective, thoughtful, and humble public servant.”
    James N. Mattis, General (Retired), US Marine Corps
  • “Sullivan’s knowledgeable text must be heeded…. With the authority of personal experience, Sullivan paints a vivid, dark, frightening picture of Russia in the Putin era.”
    Kirkus Reviews (starred)

On Sale
Aug 6, 2024
Page Count
384 pages

John J. Sullivan

About the Author

John J. Sullivan is an American attorney and government official whose career spans four decades in the public and private sectors. He has served five presidents in prominent diplomatic and legal positions, including as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation under Presidents Joe Biden (January 2021 to October 2022) and Donald Trump (December 2019 to January 2021). Before his post in Moscow, he served for almost three years as the U.S. deputy secretary of state. He is currently a distinguished fellow at Georgetown and Columbia Universities, a partner in Mayer Brown LLP, and a member of the congressionally-chartered, bipartisan Commission on Reform and Modernization of the Department of State. He splits his time between the Washington, DC area and Connecticut.

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