In December 2013 David Satter became the first American journalist to be expelled from Russia since the Cold War. The Moscow Times said it was not surprising he was expelled; "it was surprising it took so long". Satter is known in Russia for having written that the apartment bombings in 1999, which were blamed on Chechens and brought Putin to power, were actually carried out by the Russian FSB security police.
In this book Satter tells the story of the apartment bombings and how Boris Yeltsin presided over the criminalization of Russia, why Vladimir Putin was chosen as his sucessor, and how Putin has suppressed all opposition while retaining the appearance of a pluralist state. As the threat represented by Russia becomes increasingly clear, Satter's description of where Russia is and how it got there will be of vital interest to anyone concerned about the dangers facing the world today.
©2016 David Satter (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
You could hear the narrator swallowing his saliva into the microphone. Constantly. I wish he would have turned his head away. It was distracting and took away from an otherwise informative, although not shocking, book.
This is not just a collection of facts and anecdotes, this is a narrative that has a lot of predictive and explanatory power, that is richly illustrated with events from Russia's post-Soviet history that are often forgotten or misrepresented in Russian state controlled media and largely unknown in the west. What impressed me the most was the accuracy of details that i can confirm, and clearness of interpretations unaffected by Russian propaganda tropes that affect most attempts at such work. My only peeve is with the reader, who while doing mostly stellar job with the text pronounces some of the Russian names in such a way that it took some effort to figure out who or what is he talking about.
A must read for those interested in Russia, Putin's crimes and United States foreign policy.
"Ruined by the narration"
You would have thought that for your fee for doing the voice-over, you would learn how to pronounce the names of the characters and places that are described. But no, not this guy. Gratingly awful and inconsistent.
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