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The Godfather of the Kremlin: Boris Berezovsky and the Looting of Russia
Synopses & Reviews
Boris Berezovsky's business career has been meteoric. In just six years he managed to seize control of Russia's largest auto manufacturer, largest TV network, national airline, and one of the world's biggest oil companies. When Moscow's gangster families battled one another in the Great Mob War of 1993-1994, Berezovsky was in the thick of it. He was badly burned by a car bomb; his driver was decapitated. A year later, Berezovsky emerged as the prime suspect in the assassination of the director of the TV network he acquired. Although plagued by scandal, he enjoyed President Yeltsin's support, serving as the personal "financial advisor" to Yeltsin and his family. In 1996, Berezovsky organized the financing of Yeltsin's re-election campaign-a campaign marred by fraud, embezzlement, and attempted murder. Berezovsky became the president's most influential political advisor, playing a key role in forming governments and dismissing prime ministers. Having labored to privatize the economy, Berezovsky privatized the state. Based on hundreds of taped interviews with top businessmen and government officials, as well as on secret police reports, contractual documents, and surveillance tapes, Godfather of the Kremlin is both a gripping story and a unique historical document.
Book News Annotation:
Drawing from interviews with business owners and government officials, police reports, government documents, and surveillance tapes, Klebnikov (senior editor, Forbes) describes the corruption thriving in post-Communist Russia. He outlines the current period of Russian history, beginning with the Great Mob War of 1993-1994, and ending with Putin's election in 2000. Tracing the career of Berezovsky throughout this period, Klebnikov shows how Berezovsky gained control of Russia's largest companies and became a trusted political advisor—despite scandals, murder charges, turf wars, and a car bombing.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The story of Russia's wealthiest and most powerful businessman is related in the context of Russia's transformation from nuclear superpower into an impoverished nation. When Moscow's gangster families battled one another in the Great Mob War of 1993-1994, Berezovsky was in the thick of it and in six years has managed to seize control of Russia's largest auto manufacturer, largest TV network, national airline, and one of the world's biggest oil companies. 8-page photo insert.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 346-360) and index.
About the Author
Paul Klebnikov holds a Ph.D. in Russian History from the London School of Economics. He is a senior editor at Forbes and has reported on Russia since 1989. A fluent Russian speaker, he has won four press awards for his writing on Russian business.
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