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Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism by Paul Klebnikov 0156013304
Paul Klebnikov tells the incredible story of Boris Berezovsky, a one-time Russian car dealer who assembled a huge--and illicit--fortune after the collapse of Communism. "This individual had risen out of nowhere to become the richest businessman in Russia and one of the most powerful individuals in the country," writes Klebnikov, a respected reporter for Forbes. "This is a story of corruption so profound that many readers might have trouble believing it." Yet Godfather of the Kremlin is a careful work of journalism in which Klebnikov documents the business dealings of a man who once bragged to the Financial Times that he and six other men controlled half of the Russian economy and rigged Boris Yeltsin's reelection in 1996. Berezovsky survived both an assassination attempt and a murder investigation, and paved the way to power for Vladimir Putin. He and the other crony capitalists of post-Soviet Russia like to rationalize their deeds, writes Klebnikov: "Whenever I asked Russia's business magnates about the orgy of crime produced by the market reforms, they invariably excused it by pointing to the robber barons of American capitalism. Russia's bandit capitalism was no different from American capitalism in the late nineteenth century, they argued." Yet nothing could be further from the truth: Carnegie, Rockefeller, and their peers transformed the United States into an economic superpower. Berezovsky, on the other hand, has "produced no benefit to Russia's consumers, industries, or treasury." It's not that he didn't have an opportunity. To pick one example among many, he took over Aeroflot when it had a monopoly position in a booming market. But the company barely grew, and instead experienced myriad problems. Berezovsky controlled many businesses, but he was a lousy business manager; his only authentic success--as an auto dealer--depended on collusion. His real skill is shady dealmaking, especially with corrupt government officials. That's the way to success in modern Russia, as this well-told but troubling book reveals. --John J. Miller

How Russia Became a Market Economy by Anders Aslund 0815704259

Capitalism Russian-Style by Thane Gustafson -- Capitalism Russian-Style provides a progress report on one of the most important economic experiments going on in the world today: the building of capitalism in Russia. It describes Russian achievements in building private banks, companies, stock exchanges, new laws and law courts. It analyzes the role of the mafia, the new financial empires, entrepreneurs, business tycoons, and the shrinking Russian state. Thane Gustafson tells how the Soviet system was dismantled and the new market society was born, and examines the prospects for a Russian economic miracle in the twenty-first century.

Russia's Virtual Economy by Clifford G. Gaddy -- Clifford Gaddy's and Barry Ickes' paradigm of the "virtual economy" has fundamentally changed the way people think about Russia's economy. Circulated at the highest levels of the Russian and U.S. governments and reported in leading publications worldwide, their thesisthat Russia's economy is based on illusion or pretense about nearly every important economic yardstick, including prices, sales, wages and budgetshas forced broad recognition of the inadequacies of the intended market reform policies in Russia. More important, their work has provided a coherent framework for understanding how and why so much of Russia's economy has resisted reform.

Putin's Russia by Lilia Shevtsova

http://www.russians.org/ann_wndr.htm

Inside Putin's Russia by Andrew Jack
Written by Andrew Jack, the Moscow Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, here is a revealing look at the meteoric rise of Vladimir Putin and his first term as president of Russia. Drawing on interviews with Putin himself, and with a number of the country's leading figures, as well as many ordinary Russians, Jack describes how the former KGB official emerged from the shadows of the Soviet secret police and lowly government jobs to become the most powerful man in Russia. The author shows how Putin has defied domestic and foreign expectations, presiding over a period of strong economic growth, significant restructuring, and rising international prestige. Yet Putin himself remains a man of mystery and contradictions. Personally, he is the opposite of Boris Yeltsin. A former judo champion, he is abstemious, healthy, and energetic, but also evasive, secretive, and cautious. Politically, he has pursued a predominantly pro-western foreign policy and liberal economic reforms, but has pursued a hardline war in Chechnya and introduced tighter controls over parliament and the media and his opponents, moves which are reminiscent of the Soviet era. Through it all, Putin has united Russian society and maintained extraordinarily high popularity. Jack concludes that Putin's "liberal authoritarianism" may be unpalatable to the West, but is probably the best that Russia can do at this point in her history. Inside Putin's Russia digs behind the rumors and speculation, illuminating Putin's character and the changing nature of the Russia he rules. Andrew Jack sheds light on Putin's thinking, style and effectiveness as president. With Putin's second term just beginning, this invaluable book offers important insights for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of Russia.

Putin: Russia's Choice by Richard Sakwa
Richard Sakwa is Professor of Politics at University of Kent. His recent publications include Russian Politics and Society, 3rd ed., The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991 and Soviet Politics in Perspective.

Putin's Russia by ANNA POLITKOVSKAYA
This is a devastating appraisal of the policies of Russias current head of state by the countrys leading radical journalist. Known for her humanity and passion, she is admired for her fearless reporting on human-rights issues, especially the wars in Chechnya.

Putin's Russia: Past Imperfect, Future Uncertain Second Expanded Edition by Dale R. Herspring -- The second edition of Putin's Russia: Past Imperfect, Future Uncertain is completely updated and expanded to provide the most current and complete review of Russia under President Vladimir Putin available. New chapters include analysis of Putin's government during both headline news events like the Kursk disaster as well as foundation issues such as health and agriculture. Previous chapters have been updated and expanded to include events through 2003.

Violent Entrepreneurs: The Use of Force in the Making of Russian Capitalism by Vadim Volkov

Entering the shady world of what he calls "violent entrepreneurship," Vadim Volkov explores the economic uses of violence and coercion in Russia in the 1990s. Violence has played, he shows, a crucial role in creating the institutions of a new market economy. The core of his work is competition among so-called violence-managing agencies-criminal groups, private security services, private protection companies, and informal protective agencies associated with the state-which multiplied with the liberal reforms of the early 1990s. This competition provides an unusual window on the dynamics of state formation.

Violent Entrepreneurs is remarkable for its research. Volkov conducted numerous interviews with members of criminal groups, heads of protection companies, law enforcement employees, and businesspeople. He bases his findings on journalistic and anecdotal evidence as well as on his own personal observation.

Volkov investigates the making of violence-prone groups in sports clubs (particularly martial arts clubs), associations for veterans of the Soviet- Afghan war, ethnic gangs, and regionally based social groups, and he traces the changes in their activities across the decade. Some groups wore state uniforms and others did not, but all of their members spoke and acted essentially the same and were engaged in the same activities: intimidation, protection, information gathering, dispute management, contract enforcement, and taxation. Each group controlled the same resource-organized violence.

Darkness at Dawn : The Rise of the Russian Criminal State
Anticipating a new dawn of freedom and democracy after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russians could hardly have foreseen the reality of their future a decade later: a country mired in poverty and controlled at every level by organized crime. This compelling book tells the story of reform in Russia through the real experiences of individual citizens. Describing in details the birth of a new era of repression, David Satter analyzes the changes that have swept Russia and their effect on Russia's age-old way of thinking.
Through the stories of people at all levels of Russian society, Satter shows the contrast during the reform period between the desperation of the many and the insatiability of the few. Wish insights derived from more than twenty years of writing and reporting on Russia, he considers why the individual human being there has historically counted for so little. And he offers an illuminating analysis of how Russia's post-Soviet fate was decided when a new morality failed to fill the vast moral vacuum that communism left in its wake.

Black Earth: A Journey through Russia after the Fall by Andrew Meier
"How do you explain a state in decay?" the author of this engrossing, beautifully written book asks about a country where "the death of an ideology has displaced millions," a third of the households are poor, and epidemics of HIV, TB, suicide, drug abuse and alcoholism are rife. Meier, a Moscow correspondent for Time magazine from 1996 to 2001, attempted to answer the question by traveling to the four corners of Russia so he could report on the suffering of the people as they struggle to survive in the ruins of the Soviet experiment. He began in 2000 by going south to war-devastated Chechnya, particularly the town of Aldy, a district of Grozny, which earlier that year had endured the massacre of at least 60 of its citizens by Russian soldiers. He then traveled north, above the Arctic Circle, to the heavily polluted industrial city of Norilsk, originally a labor camp and now "a showcase for the ravages of unbridled capitalism," where descendants of the prisoners still mine for precious metals. Finally, he went west to St. Petersburg, "a den of thieves and compromised politicians" whose much-heralded revival is largely unrealized and where the people are still haunted by the assassination in 1998 of Galina Vasilievna Starovoitova, the country's leading liberal. After talking to scores of people-from survivors of the Aldy massacre to a harrowed Russian lieutenant colonel who runs the body-collection point closest to the Chechen battleground-Meier paints in this heartbreaking book a devastating picture of contemporary life in a country where, as one man put it, people have "lived like the lowest dogs for more than eighty years."

The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia by David E. Hoffman

Hailed as "the most dramatic and comprehensive account" of the early years of Russian capitalism (New York Times Book Review)

David Hoffman, former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post, sheds light onto the hidden lives of Russia's most feared power brokers: the oligarchs. Focusing on six of these cunning and ruthless men--Alexander Smolensky, Yuri Luzhkov, Anatoly Chubais, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Boris Berezovsky, and Vladimir Gusinsky--Hoffman reveals how a few players rose to the pinnacle of Russia's new capitalism.

The oligarchs started small. Before perestroika, they lived the lives of Soviet citizens, stuck in a dead-end system, cramped apartments, and long bread lines. But as Communism loosened, they found gaps in the economy and reaped their first fortunes by getting their hands on fast money. As the government weakened and their businesses flourished, they grew greedier. The state auctioned off its own assets, and they grabbed the biggest oil companies, mines, and factories. They went on wild borrowing sprees, taking billions of dollars from gullible western lenders. When the ruble collapsed, the tycoons saved themselves by hiding their assets and running for cover. This is a saga of brilliant triumphs and magnificent failures, the untold story of how a rapacious, unruly capitalism was born out of the ashes of Soviet communism.

The Piratization of Russia: Russian Reform Goes Awry by Marshall I. Goldman; Routledge, 2003 [questia] - 1: Russia's Financial Buccaneers - 2: Setting the Stage - 3: The Legacy of the Czarist Era - 4: It's Broke, So Fix It - 5: Privatization - 6: The Nomenklatura Oligarchs - 7: The Upstart Oligarchs - 8: Fimaco, the Russian Central Bank, and Money Laundering at the Highest Level - 9: Corruption, Crime, and the Russian Mafia

Capitalism Russian-Style by Thane Gustafson; Cambridge University Press, 1999 - Prologue - 1: The New Russian Revolution: False Start or Dead End? - 2: Creating Owners: Insider Privatization and Its Consequences - 3: Wall Street Comes to Moscow: the Rise of Private Capital Markets - 4: The Rise and Fall of the Private Banks - 5: No Capitalism Without Capitalists:Entrepreneurship in the New Russia - 6: Russia's Epidemic of Crime - 7: Toward the Rule of Law? - 8: Beyond Coping: Toward the Recovery of Russian Society - 9: The Shrinking Russian State and the Battle for Taxes - 10: Conclusion: Halfway to the Market - Russia on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century

The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, 1918-1956 Vol. 1 by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn; Westview Press, 1991

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