A gripping and shocking insight into Russia's most influential oligarchs, including Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky, from New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires.
To understand the state of Russia today, one must understand the oligarchs who have shaped it.
Once Upon a Time in Russia is the true and untold story of the larger-than-life oligarchs who reaped the riches of privatisation after the fall of the Soviet regime: "Godfather of the Kremlin" Boris Berezovsky, a mathematician whose first entrepreneurial venture was running an automobile reselling business, and Roman Abramovich, his dashing young protégé who built a multi-billion-dollar empire of oil and aluminium. Locked in a complex, uniquely Russian partnership, the two battled their way through the "Wild East" of Russia, with Berezovsky acting as the younger man's krysha - his roof, his protector.
Written with the heart-stopping pace of a thriller, this true story of amassing obscene wealth and power depicts a world seldom seen up close. Under Berezovsky's krysha, Abramovich built one of Russia's largest oil companies from the ground up in exchange for cash deliveries - including 491 million dollars in just one year. But their relationship frayed when Berezovsky attacked President Vladimir Putin in the media. As Berezovsky fled to the UK, Abramovich continued to prosper.
Dead bodies trailed Berezovsky's footsteps, and threats followed him to London, where an associate of his died painfully and famously of Polonium poisoning. Then, Berezovsky himself was later dead, officially declared a suicide.
Exclusively sourced, capturing a momentous period in recent world history, Once Upon a Time in Russia is at once personal and political, offering an unprecedented look into the wealth, corruption, and power behind what Graydon Carter dubbed 'the story of our age'.
Voice actor Bobb's calm and leveled reading anchors this nearly unbelievable but true story of the swift rise to and eventual fall from power and wealth of two billionaire oligarchs in post-Communist Russia. In the feeding frenzy after the Soviet Union's 1991 collapse, venal businessmen grew rich as the bankrupt government sold state-owned companies at fire-sale prices. Boris Berezovsky, a one-time academic and used-car salesman, was an early beneficiary and mentor to Roman Abramovich, a talented young entrepreneur. Both flourished until Vladimir Putin became premier in 1999. Along the way are attempted assassinations, bombings, murders, and corruption. Given the over-the-top events depicted in the book, Bobb makes the perfect choice of reading in the manner of a detached reporter. He allows the material to dominate the reading without attempting to embellish or grandstand with accents or dramatizations. The story speaks for itself in this solid audio edition. An Atria hardcover.