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Few have studied the Russian oil and gas industry longer or with a broader political perspective than Gustafson. The result is this superb book, which is not merely a fascinating, subtle history of the industry since the Soviet Union’s collapse but also the single most revealing work on Russian politics and economics published in the last several years.
Mitchell has crafted a lucid—albeit minimalist—tour d’horizon of the events themselves and of all three countries’ subsequent backsliding into the illiberal patterns of the past.
This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original. Seegel should be congratulated for creating it, and the University of Chicago Press, for producing it.
Applebaum brings an impassioned, critical eye to the creation and maintenance of the Soviet system: the methodical, carefully staged infiltration of key institutions, the often violent elimination of competing voices, and the slow subversion of public and private institutions.
By sharing the emotional fervor of her many, often deep personal relationships with eastern Europeans, formed during ten years of travel and research in the region, Shore gets at the agony and guilt felt by some and the sublimation resorted to by others.
Bohle and Greskovits contend that the capitalism of eastern European states differs from the West’s mature form, although not quite as starkly as the authoritarian capitalism some associate with post-Soviet states.