In this saga of brilliant triumphs and magnificent failures, David E. Hoffman, the former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post, sheds light on the hidden lives of Russia's most feared power brokers: the oligarchs. Focusing on six of these ruthless men— Alexander Smolensky, Yuri Luzhkov, Anatoly Chubais, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Boris Berezovsky, and Vladimir Gusinsky—Hoffman shows how a rapacious, unruly capitalism was born out of the ashes of Soviet communism.
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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 1995 to 2001, he served as Moscow bureau chief, and later as foreign editor and assistant managing editor for foreign news. He is the author of The Dead Hand, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.From Library Journal:
There seems to be little question that the handful of men who became wealthy and powerful after the demise of the Soviet Union were greedy to the point of being criminal. Matthew Brzezinski's Casino Moscow, Chystia Freeland's Sale of the Century: Russia's Wild Ride from Communism to Capitalism, and Paul Klebnikov's Godfather of the Kremlin: Boris Berezovsky and the Looting of Russia do a good job of documenting the chicanery. What shaped the character of the so-called oligarchs? How did the decaying Soviet system influence such a diverse group of men? Hoffman, former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post, digs into the background of the six main oligarchs e.g., Boris Berezovsky of the All Russian Automobile Alliance (AVVA), one of Vladimir Putin's main backers, and Anatoly Chubias, former chair of Gazprom and founder of NTV (Novoe Televidenie, or "New Television") identifying the events that made each of them so predatory and so influential. Several characteristics are common to each. They all lived restless lives. They began to take advantage of the decaying system by starting capitalist ventures called "co-ops." They were experts at building social capital among the powerful government leaders. And, as Hoffman claims, most significantly, each man had "an ability to change." The book is not a prescriptive work but a fine descriptive volume that illuminates current Russian politics and finance. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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