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Thread: Pavel Khlebnikov's book

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    Pavel Khlebnikov's book

    I wonder, did anybody read the original (english language) edition of "Godfather of the Kremlin: Boris Berezovsky and the looting of Russia"? If so, what do you think about it?
    Also I'm interested, is this book easily available to readers from western countries, or not. Is it true it was banned in some countries, notably UK?
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    I don't think it's banned in the UK, though it may have been titled differently here to avoid potential litigation. I have "Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline Of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism" on my bookshelf at home, presumably that's the same book (though regrettably I haven't had time to read it yet).

    [edit] I just checked Amazon (.co.uk) and they have two English-language Klebnikov books listed, the one I named above as well as "Godfather of the Kremlin: Life and Times of Boris Berezovsky", and they also have the Russian-language "Krestnyi otets Kremlia Boris Berezovskii, ili, Istoriia razgrableniia Rossii ". I assume they are all the same book with different titles (the reviews of the two English-language ones are identical).

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    Of course, it was quite possible, that it was published under several completely different titles in different countries. As I know, it's a widespread practice among western publishers. To avoid confusion, the russian title is:

    "Крестный отец Кремля Борис Березовский, или история разграбления России"

    and the cover should look like:

    http://www.ozon.ru/multimedia/books_cov ... 18_001.jpg

    It's a pity nobody can share his/her opinion about Khlebnikov's thoughts, however.
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    I read it over the weekend, since you reminded me about it.

    It read like a psychological thriller containing nothing but one long gang-rape scene, with Russia as the victim. Brutal.

    Of course, I have no way of verifying how much of it is factually correct, which parts, what other interpretations can be placed on any of the events, what Klebnikov's own angle was, or even whether the book itself is just a further Machiavellian exchange in the power-battle it reports on, but to be honest, none of that really seems to matter all that much, since I never will, and no-one else will either. Klebnikov knew, but he's dead now.

    Obviously I was previously aware of many of the events listed in the book, to one extent or another, but seeing it all layed down in one place, in chronological order, really drove home the sheer scale of the institutional corruption. Spec-frikkin-tacularly criminal. What was even more interesting though, was the explanations of how these thefts were facilitated and carried out, how each related to the others, and what the background political squabbles were.

    One thing I found slightly odd was the decision to focus on Berezovsky. I mean, as venal and wholy corrupt as he is (or at least as Klebnikov paints him), he doesn't come across as being any worse than any of the other theives surrounding the Yeltsin administration. Whatever he stole would have been stolen anyway, if not by him then by someone else. As such, I think I'd have preffered to see Klebnikov focus more generally on detailing the plunder-fest itself, rather than picking one major player in it, especially since he intentionally avoids biographically detailing Berezovsky a person anyway.

    Top read though, either way. A bit depressing, but such is life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    I read it over the weekend, since you reminded me about it.

    It read like a psychological thriller containing nothing but one long gang-rape scene, with Russia as the victim. Brutal.
    Agree. Good description of what so-called "democrates" did with Russia...

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Of course, I have no way of verifying how much of it is factually correct, which parts, what other interpretations can be placed on any of the events, what Klebnikov's own angle was, or even whether the book itself is just a further Machiavellian exchange in the power-battle it reports on, but to be honest, none of that really seems to matter all that much, since I never will, and no-one else will either. Klebnikov knew, but he's dead now.
    As I can tell, most of factual part is correct and accurate.
    Khlebnikov did a scrupulous work, he always makes a clear distinction between facts and his own opinion. Although I frequently disagreed with his opinions, I never could deny most of the facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Obviously I was previously aware of many of the events listed in the book, to one extent or another, but seeing it all layed down in one place, in chronological order, really drove home the sheer scale of the institutional corruption. Spec-frikkin-tacularly criminal. What was even more interesting though, was the explanations of how these thefts were facilitated and carried out, how each related to the others, and what the background political squabbles were.
    Yes, I found this book valuable mostly because it gives a whole picture of events. For everybody still thinking, what Yeltsin's goal was democracy, it's a highly recommended reading. "Criminocracy" should be much better term to describe the system of power build by Yeltsin and yeltsinites.

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    One thing I found slightly odd was the decision to focus on Berezovsky. I mean, as venal and wholy corrupt as he is (or at least as Klebnikov paints him), he doesn't come across as being any worse than any of the other theives surrounding the Yeltsin administration. Whatever he stole would have been stolen anyway, if not by him then by someone else. As such, I think I'd have preffered to see Klebnikov focus more generally on detailing the plunder-fest itself, rather than picking one major player in it, especially since he intentionally avoids biographically detailing Berezovsky a person anyway.
    I cannot argue with it, there were too many thieves besides Berezovsky.
    But, even amongst them Berezovsky seems to be the worst. And, probably, nobody done so much harm.

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Top read though, either way. A bit depressing, but such is life.
    Sigh.
    Кр. -- сестр. тал.

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