In This Review
Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

By Bill Browder

Simon & Schuster, 2015, 416 pp.
Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia

By Peter Pomerantsev

PublicAffairs, 2014, 256 pp.

For many who arrived in Moscow in recent decades, the city had an almost narcotic effect. In the vacuum created by the Soviet collapse, unabashed opportunism and a limitless sense of the possible became the closest thing the wounded country had to a collective ideology. There were few consequences and everything was pretend—except, of course, for the massive sums of money. And as long as Russia, after Vladimir Putin took power in 2000, kept up its winking nod toward modernization and democracy, it was easy enough to play along without too much of a drag on your conscience.

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  • JOSHUA YAFFA is a journalist based in Moscow, where he is a contributor to The Economist, among other publications.
  • More By Joshua Yaffa