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The Oligarchs: Wealth And Power In The New Russia Paperback – 13 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; Revised edition edition (13 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610390709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610390705
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.5 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 325,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"[Hoffman's] account is the most dramatic and comprehensive yet... What makes this account both devastating and entertaining is the way Hoffman has pieced it together... he has read far and wide, and operated like a probing private eye." (New York Times Book Review) "[Hoffman's] book may well be the most authoritative account we will ever get of the early days of the four true 'oligarchs'... He describes and analyzes so well the methods by which money and power were grabbed in the new Russia." (New York Review of Books) "One of the most vivid and well-researched accounts to date of this tumultuous period in recent Russian history." (Newsweek) "Hoffman makes the tale of the men's rise and fall a masterful blend of adventure and serious, informed analysis." (Foreign Affairs) "In his devastating portrait of the so-called Russian oligarchy...Hoffman's... account provides us with more than its share of instruction...Hoffman brilliantly shows how seemingly halting and insignificant acts finally culminated in changes in a whole society." (Washington Post)"

About the Author

David E. Hoffman is a contributing editor at the Washington Post. He covered the White House during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and was subsequently diplomatic correspondent and Jerusalem correspondent. From

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IN THE SUMMER HEAT, the glass facade of Kursky Station loomed above the sweaty crowds. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By blackmightcrash on 20 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
I must confess to having had high hopes for this book but was left disappointed by a number of aspects.

Firstly the positive. For me Russia has and always will, it seems, remain an unknown and mainly dark place of Mafioso and corrupt politicians. This book does little to dispel this and if you'd like an overview of the mid 90's race for state assets this is a good place to start. However, the 6 chapters devoted to the oligarchs are broad brush-strokes at best. I would also like to express my uneasiness regarding inclusions of interviews with them. How forthcoming is the poacher going to be with the gamekeeper? How much can you press such powerful people without fearing for your own safety? In essence, what of themselves are they really going to reveal?

However (and perhaps this attests to the cunning of the 6 subjects) I felt the book failed to really grasp at the back-room deals and in particular the violence associated with this era. Don't get me wrong, Hoffman vaguely references the intimidation and violence ("The Faces in the Snow" incident and the gangs stealing cars off the production line) but fails to really delve into this in any detail. Or did I imagine the violence of this time? A very good example are the killings associated with the "Aluminium Wars" and John Sweeney's quote "after the oligarch (Abramovich) emerged at the top of the trade, the murders stopped." No mention, not one jot.

Of course this leads me to something other reviewers have mentioned, the omission of Abramovich. A great pity as he proved the ultimate adversary outfoxing his mentor and at one stage the most powerful oligarch of the time, Berezovsky. Should we draw the conclusion that Roman is too powerful to consider inclusion? Too secretive?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andy George on 10 Jun 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have the slightest interest in the how and why a group of Russian businessman became super rich in the eighties then this is the book for your.
The author has written a very easy book to read, in fact much of it reads like a good novel.
Complicated economic and political concepts were easily explain.
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Format: Paperback
The stories the author tells of the hardships that Russians went through are compelling. The stories of Ponzi and get rich schemes which duped hundreds of thousands if not millions of Russians out of what near worthless currency they had is heartbreaking.
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28 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Printul Noptilor on 9 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
This book tells you about a half dozen men of various backgrounds who have one thing in common: they succeeded in using the major political disruptions in the Soviet Union and became incredibly rich and powerful in the new Russia - the so-called oligarchs.

I find this subject extremely interesting, as well as puzzling. In spite of close historic ties Russia has to my country, some things about it are still quite mysterious to me. Among other things, I'd really like to understand what that oligarch thing is all about.

Unfortunately, this book is extremely incompetent and badly written.

Let's talk about the style first. In the communist-ruled Eastern Europe, they often published propaganda stories about the supposedly miserable life in the capitalist West. Like how the unemployed John Smith drew the lapels of his holey coat tighter in the freezing New York winter and walked on, going from trash can to trash can, hoping to find some food remains.
This book reminds me of that red propaganda crap from my childhood. It's anti-red, of course, but the style is the same. The author just paints everything black, criticises everything indiscriminately, even things that have nothing to do with politics.
The last thing I want to do is to defend the communists. The Soviet Union was horrible and inhuman, which I know better than any American possibly could. But I just hate ignorant Western authors who whine about everything without really having a clue. For example, Mr. Hoffman meditates over Soviet people using the verb "to get" or "to take" when they meant "to buy", and how that is supposed to be reflecting the Soviet reality where many wares were in short supply.
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