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Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB Hardcover – 4 Jun 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (4 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847370810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847370815
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 619,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Alex Goldfarb, Ph.D., was a dissident scientist who left Russia in the 1970s, joining the faculty of Columbia University. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, he went to work for George Soros directing charitable initiatives in Russia. He befriended Alexander Litvinenko in the 1990s. Goldfarb later helped Litvinenko work on his memoirs and supported his efforts to expose the abuses of the newly ascendant FSB. Goldfarb is currently the executive director of the International Foundation for Civil Liberties, set up by Boris Berezovsky as an umbrella group for human-rights activists.

Marina Litvinenko first met Alexander at her thirty-first birthday party, in 1993, when he was a young officer in the FSB. They married and she gave birth to a son thereafter. In 2000, the three of them sought asylum in the United Kingdom, and she continues to live in London with her twelve-year-old son. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having studied Russian for several years,lived in Russia and taken a very keen interest in Russian business and politics I thought that this book was essential reading.
Boy was I right!
This fascinating story about the tragic death by radiation poisoning of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko is told with such incredible detail and expertise that you literally cannot stop turning the pages.
Alex Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko give you a guided tour through the maze of political connections, corruption,death threats,journeys and conversations that took place from the end of Yelstin's government right up to last year (2008) in Putin's Russia.
If you want to understand how the oligarchs (like Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky) came to become some of the wealthiest men in the world and how the intricate networks of Russia's politics/KGB (now FSB) operate then I readily suggest this book.
Words really cannot do justice to what is a truly gripping,intriguing,fascinating and incredibly informative book, written with such clarity,detail and emotion.
If you have ever wondered what happens behind those huge walls in Moscow's Kremlin Building or what conversations take place between Russia's billionaire oligarchs on their private jets - or even if you have just wanted to learn somethig more about Russia - then definitely buy this book.
10/10 and 5* rated.
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Format: Paperback
I have to say that this gripping, well-written book does say almost nothing of interest directly about the death of Litvinenko (for that, try The Terminal Spy, an engrossing analytical book on the subject), but notwithstanding that, this is really worth reading. The book goes into the background and events (for many years) leading up to what happened to Litvinenko. The author, a Jew who emigrated from the Soviet Union in the 1970's and who is a US citizen, had the advantage of having known Litvinenko for years; the book was co-written by Marina Litvinenko.

Some of the facts and theories contained in the book are startling though not new, such as the idea that the FSB (successor agency to the former KGB Second Chief Directorate) was behind the apartment bombings in the llate 1990's which killed and wounded so many people when their high-rises blocks were destroyed. On the face of it, an extreme conspiracy theory even in the post-Soviet context: after all, what right-thinking person would find it easy to accept that a state security service would callously bomb hundreds of families of the agency's own coountry? On the other hand, agencies of this sort are full of callous or ruthless people who ARE at times willing to use or even collude with the enemies of their own people. Loook at Iran-Contra etc, or Donald Rumsfeld colludiong with the supply of germ warfare materiel to Saddam Hussein (pre-1990), as has been claimed elsewhere.

I was interested to see the author's more-or-less insider view of the major Jewish oligarchs of the so-called "New Russia" (mostly now living in exile in London, Tel Aviv or New York). These are the people who, in straightforward lay terms, "stole Russia". Putin would arrest them if he could and has tried to have them extradited.
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Format: Hardcover
Death by pulonium-210. Pulonium in the blood is not a pleasant way to go. But then I guess quite a few ways of dying are rather unpleasant. What makes it a sensational death is that Litvinenko was poisoned and quite a few people suspect that it is a political death - like the death of Anna Politkovskaya.

So who was Alexander Litvinenko? Why was it necessary to kill him?

Some of "Death of a Dissident" is bleak reading. Unsurprising but bleak. The lengths to which some people will go to gain and retain power is frightening. It seems there is always someone who is willing to give up their integrity for gain.

Warning right away. As you read "Death of a Dissident" you might keep in mind that one of the writers of the book was Alex Goldfarb. Goldfarb was/is employed by Boris Berezovsky. Goldfarb admits to this relationship at the beginning of the book. Whether it is possible to trust all of the information in Death of a Dissident is something worth asking oneself.

In 2000 Litvinenko decided that it was time that he and Marina ran from it before he was arrested once more. After the claims against the FSB leadership, it had become unsafe for him to stay in Russia. With the help of Boris Berezovsky and Alex Goldfarb they left and finally arrived in the UK.

During their drive across Turkey, Alex Goldfarb felt he got to know Sasja. His life had not been a dance on roses and Sasja felt that Marina was the one who ultimately saved him.

Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko was born in 1962 (so a year younger than my brother) in Russia. His route of service went from the Internal Troops of the Minstry of Internal Affairs to the Dzerzhinsky Division of the Soviet Minstry of Internal Affairs.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Death by pulonium-210. Pulonium in the blood is not a pleasant way to go. But then I guess quite a few ways of dying are rather unpleasant. What makes it a sensational death is that Litvinenko was poisoned and quite a few people suspect that it is a political death - like the death of Anna Politkovskaya.

So who was Alexander Litvinenko? Why was it necessary to kill him?

Some of "Death of a Dissident" is bleak reading. Unsurprising but bleak. The lengths to which some people will go to gain and retain power is frightening. It seems there is always someone who is willing to give up their integrity for gain.

Boris Berezovsky with bodyguards

Warning right away. As you read "Death of a Dissident" you might keep in mind that one of the writers of the book was Alex Goldfarb. Goldfarb was/is employed by Boris Berezovsky. Goldfarb admits to this relationship at the beginning of the book. Whether it is possible to trust all of the information in Death of a Dissident is something worth asking oneself.

In 2000 Litvinenko decided that it was time that he and Marina ran from it before he was arrested once more. After the claims against the FSB leadership, it had become unsafe for him to stay in Russia. With the help of Boris Berezovsky and Alex Goldfarb they left and finally arrived in the UK.

During their drive across Turkey, Alex Goldfarb felt he got to know Sasja. His life had not been a dance on roses and Sasja felt that Marina was the one who ultimately saved him.

Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko was born in 1962 (so a year younger than my brother) in Russia. His route of service went from the Internal Troops of the Minstry of Internal Affairs to the Dzerzhinsky Division of the Soviet Minstry of Internal Affairs.
Read more ›
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