The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia

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PublicAffairs, 2003 - Business & Economics - 575 pages
22 Reviews
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 ruthless men Hoffman reveals how a few players managed to take over Russia's cash-strapped economy and then divvy it up in loans-for-shares deals.

Before perestroika, these men were normal Soviet citizens, stuck in a dead-end system, claustrophobic apartments, and long bread lines. But as Communism loosened, they found gaps in the economy and reaped huge fortunes by getting their hands on fast money. They were entrepreneurs. As the government weakened and their businesses flourished, they grew greedier. Now the stakes were higher. The state was auctioning off its own assets to the highest bidder. The tycoons go on wild borrowing sprees, taking billions of dollars from gullible western lenders. Meanwhile, Russia is building up a debt bomb. When the ruble finally collapses and Russia defaults, the tycoons try to save themselves by hiding their assets and running for cover. They turn against each other as each one faces a stark choice--annihilate or be annihilated.

The story of the old Russia was spies, dissidents, and missiles. This is the new Russia, where civil society and the rule of law have little or no meaning.
  

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Review: The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

Great book that gives some good insights into the new Russia. Most people think bringing down the Berlin wall was the start of the revolution but it started years before that. Also the cold war did not have as much impact as socialism did on the collapse of the Soviet Union. Read full review

Review: The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia

User Review  - Roger Short - Goodreads

A well worth read for those interested in the recent history of Russia. Above all, for those interested in learning how the oligarchs gained their wealth and how till this day dupe the West. These people are not democrats as they may want to proclaim nor martyrs of a corrupt political system. Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
PART ONE
9
Shadows and Shortages
11
Alexander Smolensky
31
Yuri Luzhkov
54
Anatoly Chubais
78
Mikhail Khodorkovsky
100
Boris Berezovsky
127
The Club on Sparrow Hills
270
The Embrace of Wealth and Power
296
Saving Boris Yeltsin
325
The Bankers War
365
Roar of the Dragons
397
Hardball and Silver Bullets
442
Epilogue
491
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
495

Vladimir Gusinsky
150
PART TWO
175
Unlocking the Treasure
177
Easy Money
209
The Man Who Rebuilt Moscow
237
Notes
503
Bibliography
551
Acknowledgments
556
Index
559
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

\David Hoffman joined the Washington Post in 1982, and covered the Reagan and Bush presidencies as a White House correspondent. After serving as diplomatic correspondent and Jerusalem correspondent, he moved to Russia to head the Post's Moscow bureau for almost six years, and is currently Foreign Editor of the Washington Post.

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