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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Russia with cash
I remember The Times coverage of the death of Steven Curtis in a helicopter crash. This book explains what lead up to Steven being involved with the Russian Oligarchs, his belief that he was in danger and an account of the crash and his funeral.It explains just how the Oligarchs made their money and how they chose to spend it.It is an interesting insight into the Russian...
Published on 8 Dec 2009 by Margot Harrison

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very shallow description of Russian presence in London
Well, I had a rather double feeling about this book. On one hand it looked like a very interesting journalist piece with some good work. It's always interesting to read about extraordinary people, even if they are Russian oligarchs, with criminal or almost-criminal part.

What I hated about it: once you actually start liking the storyline of interesting and...
Published 16 months ago by Vladimir


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Russia with cash, 8 Dec 2009
I remember The Times coverage of the death of Steven Curtis in a helicopter crash. This book explains what lead up to Steven being involved with the Russian Oligarchs, his belief that he was in danger and an account of the crash and his funeral.It explains just how the Oligarchs made their money and how they chose to spend it.It is an interesting insight into the Russian mentality, their willingness to kill political opponents wherever they might be living and the attitude of the British Government to requests to live in this country.
It also details the involvement of some members of both the Government and Opposition with the Oligarchs.
A good if disturbing read.Well worth reading.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lords of the Flies, 12 Aug 2011
By 
Robert Horn (Victoria, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Londongrad: From Russia with Cash;The Inside Story of the Oligarchs (Paperback)
Lord Acton was right. The more the lolly the more the corruption. That is just one of the several inferences of this book that is not spelt out but left to the reader to connect the dots. The dots though are generally so close together that it is scarcely necessary to connect them. It is a subtle piece of writing because superficially it is racy journalism but some of the dots are pixel size so that the subliminal message comes out as clearly as if it were engraved in stone.

The authors do not present a polemic. They simply recount facts which we may assume are true because no overpaid lawyer has got an injunction to prevent their publication. The book deals with the accumulation of staggering amounts of personal wealth by a handful of ex-Soviet wheeler-dealers (Messrs Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky, Fridman, Gusinsky, Abramovich, Deripaska and Patarkatsishvili among others) soon after the collapse of the USSR and their gross behaviour in squandering it on themselves and their friends. The crudity of their lives reflects their extraordinarily low cultural level. They have the tastes of gangsters, and not just the tastes. They justify their grasping greed by saying it was OK because it was legal. Adolf Hitler and his merry entourage were 'legal'. Morality and law are not the same thing. To acquire, by whatever means, huge amounts of the property of the Russian people then to squirrel the proceeds away in foreign havens to protect it from taxation and being returned to its rightful owners is immorality on an industrial scale.

The main focus of this book is London where the oligarchs feel safe because courts seem reluctant to extradite them even though they are charged with serious crimes in their own country. The Chief Magistrate of London appears to sincerely believe that Berezovsky is a political refugee! They have recruited highly-placed British bag-carriers. Lord Bell was a media adviser (PR man to put it more crudely) to Maggie Thatcher who knighted him for his efforts. Tony Blair gave him a peerage. He now is employed to improve the image of London-based oligarchs and to represent the interest of the rich and powerful such as the Saudi government. (What on earth had this man done to benefit his country that justified him being appointed to the upper house and to sit in government over the British people at their expense? The authors of this book don't ask the question). A fellow Peer of the Realm, Lord Goldsmith, the man who gave flexible advice on the legality of attacking Iraq, is another hanger-on in the entourage that surrounds plutomaniac Russians. He provided legal advice to Patarkatsishvili - a late client of Lord Bell.

The political spectrum is well-represented among the Russian's spongers. Another noble Lord, Mandelson, of the then ruling Labour Party and George Osborne, at the time Shadow Chancellor in the Tory opposition and Nat Rothschild, of the famous banking family were notoriously entertained by Depriska on his luxury yacht in Corfu. In case the middle-ground of British politics feel left out Lord Owen was up to his neck with Khodorkovsky. It's amazing how many of the flies buzzing around have the title Lord. Connecting the obvious dots is it any wonder that not only British but also French, Italian, Canadian, and perhaps most of all, American citizens are disillusioned with their leaders. It is unimaginable that Roy Jenkins, or Lord Carrington or in more recent times Shirley Williams, would stoop so low as to associate with these people. How many times have leading politicians of any stripe been entertained in their homes by working people in Wolverhampton or Tottenham? Do Britain's political leaders have no interest in the British poor, just the foreign rich? Lord Acton was right and so was Oliver Goldsmith (no relation) when he says that wealth accumulates but men decay.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Populist and entertaining but still serious and enlightening., 14 Mar 2011
This review is from: Londongrad: From Russia with Cash;The Inside Story of the Oligarchs (Paperback)
I picked this book up out of curiosity, being neither an expert on the subject, or familiar with other works by the writers. In this context it suited my needs perfectly. The book is not an academic tome but is obviously written by skilful and experienced journalists who know how to engage a reader. Judging by the bibliography, it looks like much of the research is second hand but you cannot fault the writers' attention to detail and confidence with the subject. One criticism might be that the writers' seem a tad schizophrenic as they can't quite decide whether to adopt an ethical moral tone or enjoy the salaciousness of it all. But then I suspect most of us suffer from this dichotomy! Whilst I'm sure there are more serious and academically rigorous books on this subject, I doubt any of them are as enjoyable or as readable as this one. I'd definitely recommended the book for those who are new to the subject.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very shallow description of Russian presence in London, 10 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Londongrad: From Russia with Cash;The Inside Story of the Oligarchs (Paperback)
Well, I had a rather double feeling about this book. On one hand it looked like a very interesting journalist piece with some good work. It's always interesting to read about extraordinary people, even if they are Russian oligarchs, with criminal or almost-criminal part.

What I hated about it: once you actually start liking the storyline of interesting and incredibly complicated international financial schemes, it falls into boring listing of assets: how many square feet and acres houses they have, the size of the boats and materials used. They could have managed to transfer the idea of how rich the Russians in a couple of pages and focus on their stories rather than enumeration of properties. But the authors choose to remind us about it throughout the whole books. Apartments, houses, villas, designers' names, cars, helicopters. It very quickly bores the hell out of you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Much better books on modern day Russia, 7 Nov 2011
This review is from: Londongrad: From Russia with Cash;The Inside Story of the Oligarchs (Paperback)
I totally agree with a couple of other reviewers here in that this is a poorly researched book,riddled with inaccuracies,eg Abramovich's purchase of the Hotel du Cap - Eden Roc in the South of France which of course never happened.It appears to rely on a large number of newspaper articles,totally lacking in original research.There are far better books that have been written on modern day Russia and its oligarchs and indeed you would get a far better insight into some of the characters in this book by simply surfing the web !
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Londongrad, 12 Feb 2010
Unsurprisingly for a book written by journalists, Londongrad has the feel of a newspaper article about it.. albeit a very long one. The basic premise, namely the exodus of rich Russians from Moscow to London and the obscene wealth that surrounds their lifestyles, is interesting and relevant given the knock on effects for the UK - in terms of house prices, sales of luxury goods, and of course crime - covered in the chapter focusing on the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. At times there seems to be a glut of information on just how long a yacht is, how many cars this oligarch has and exactly how much each of his 35 homes cost (although it's amazing how the information lures you in) and in some ways I wish it was a newspaper article - i.e. a shorter read that still conveyed the salient facts. If you are particularly interested in the topic, or have plenty of time on your hands to read then this is a great book to read... if time is short and you have just a passing interest then it's possibly not for you.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to buy this book!!!!!!!!!!, 26 Oct 2009
By 
Arthurly (Geneva, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This is a fascinating book..!

I bought it with little prior knowledge of the influx of Russian money into the capital since the turn of the century bar what had been fleetingly reported in the media and was engrossed by the political infighting and egotistical freedom-fighting undertaken by many in what was clearly and still is a very corrupt country.

The book is very well researched, simply stating the plain facts with just a little British bias! None the less well worth reading if you are interested in this field or not..
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contains a decent account of recent Russian history, 4 July 2012
By 
Ian Hunter (Glasgow UK) - See all my reviews
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Bought this as I was interested in the rise of Russian immigration to UK - are there really over 400,000 Russians in London?
However the best part for me was the description of how Yeltsin tried to convert Russia into a western style capitalist economy with predictably disastrous results for the majority of ordinary Russians.
Some other good stuff I liked were the stories of Russians turning up at London estate agencies and car showrooms with suitcases stuffed full of money trying to buy property and cars.
Amazingly the US government has indicated that they don't want these people but the British government are happy to have them here because they are spending their money here,
Can't help but feel that most ordinary Russians would have been better off under the old communist regime.
A decent easy to read account of recent events.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Russian roulettel, 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Londongrad: From Russia with Cash;The Inside Story of the Oligarchs (Paperback)
The collapse of Russia's communist government has led to many good things and many bad such as gang warfare in Moscow and other big cities where a bullet in the head seems to be a final goodbye to those who oppose the current regime also liberated the budding oligarchs who used influential contacts and doubtful means to enrich themselves feeding in the trough of billior of roubles and buying very lucrative State industries . Many fresh multi millionaires headed for big cities in the West, like London - including those presumably , with interesting backgrounds,and who now run football clubs and newspapers as they settle in to a safer live in the United Kingdom where in recent times some sudden deaths have raised eyebrows. This book LondonGrad by Mark Hollingsworth and Stewart Lansley purports to reveal the full inside story and a disturbing story it is . A sad one of greed and deatjh where the stakes are high for the incredibly rich newcomers.(IRB Hibbitt)
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS!!!, 29 Jan 2013
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If your keen to know more about the murky would of Abramovich and his cronies, read this! Very well written and offers genuine insights.
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Londongrad: From Russia with Cash;The Inside Story of the Oligarchs
Londongrad: From Russia with Cash;The Inside Story of the Oligarchs by Stewart Lansley (Paperback - 8 July 2010)
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