Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State

Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State

by David Satter
     
 

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Anticipating a new dawn of freedom and democracy after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russians could hardly have foreseen the reality of their future a decade later: a country desperately impoverished and controlled at every level by criminals. This compelling book tells the story of the 1990s reform period in Russia through the experiences of individual… See more details below

Overview

Anticipating a new dawn of freedom and democracy after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russians could hardly have foreseen the reality of their future a decade later: a country desperately impoverished and controlled at every level by criminals. This compelling book tells the story of the 1990s reform period in Russia through the experiences of individual citizens. Recounting in detail the development of a new era of oppression, journalist David Satter conveys the staggering nature of the changes that have swept Russian life, society, and ways of thinking.

Through the stories of people at all levels of Russian society, Satter describes fraudulent investment schemes, massive corruption, and the intrusion of organized crime everywhere. With insights derived from more than twenty years of writing and reporting on Russia, Satter considers why the individual human being there has historically counted for so little. And he offers an illuminating analysis of how Russia’s post-Soviet fate was decided when a new morality failed to fill the vast moral vacuum that communism left in its wake.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
Satter puts the human exclamation point on Goldman's argument. With a reporter's eye for vivid detail and a novelist's ability to capture emotion, he conveys the drama of Russia's rocky road for the average victimized Russian. There is the mother of a sailor doomed on the Kursk submarine; the aunt of a murdered woman stonewalled by local police too indifferent to investigate; a woman trying to salvage a life's savings sunk in a collapsing pyramid scheme; and a surgeon frantically (and unsuccessfully) trying to save a patient's life when the power goes off in the operating room because the local electric company has shut it down. True, this is only half of the story of what is happening in Russia these days, but it is the shattering half, and Satter renders it all the more poignant by making it so human.
Library Journal
Nearly all of the books written about Russia in the past ten years, such as Lilia Shevtsova's Putin's Russia and David E.Hoffman's The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia, have indicted the criminal element in Russian politics and society, which seemingly cast lots for the country's lucrative state-owned industries. Satter (Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union), a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and visiting lecturer at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, is the first author to name the causes of rampant criminality and name names beyond the well-documented oligarchs. His book contains much anecdotal evidence of the experiences of present-day Russians to back up his thesis that contemporary Russia skipped the moral lessons of capitalism (antitrust legislation, strong labor unions, etc.) and went directly to the mechanics of transformation to capitalism. According to Satter's bracing analysis, three factors doom Russia to chaos in the future: economic collapse is likely because world oil prices determine the economic destiny of Russia, Putin has set in place an easy road to dictatorship, and severe depopulation from the collapse of the human services sector will soon leave Russia with blank spaces to be occupied by neighbors. The text is nonacademic and offers many emotional stories. Recommended for public libraries.-Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"David Satter has written a compelling and provocative indictment of post-Soviet Russia. He grounds his stern judgment in years of his own reporting on real people's experiences, and he brings to the task he has set himself a powerful intellect. This book is a major contribution to the debate over what has happened in Russia—and why, and what it means."—Strobe Talbott, president, The Brookings Institution

“A stunning book that honestly confronts the continuingly difficult birth of post-Soviet Russia: dictatorship, economic collapse, and depopulation may still be in Russia's future and much depends on oil. Bravo to Satter—a clear, troubling, brave work.”—Jim Woolsey, former CIA Director

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300129090
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
18 MB
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