Anticipating a new dawn of freedom after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russians could hardly have foreseen the reality of their future a decade later: A country impoverished and controlled at every level by organized crime. This riveting book views the 1990s reform period through the experiences of individual citizens, revealing the changes that have swept Russia and their effect on Russia’s age-old ways of thinking.
“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 . . . This is only half 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.” —Foreign Affairs
“[Satter] tells engrossing tales of brazen chicanery, official greed and unbearable suffering . . . Satter manages to bring the events to life with excruciating accounts of real Russians whose lives were shattered.” —The Baltimore Sun
“Satter must be commended for saying what a great many people only dare to think.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Humane and articulate.” —The Spectator
“Vivid, impeccably researched and truly frightening . . . Western policy-makers would do well to study these pages.” —National Post