In 1988 Forbes magazine hailed Chuck Feeney as the 23rd richest American alive. No one knew until then that he was extremely wealthy. Or was he? Born during the Depression in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Feeney had made a fortune as co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers, the world's largest duty-free retail chain. How he did it is one of the great untold retail stories of modern times. The greater untold story is that Feeney had in fact given away his fortune, in its totality, to endow Atlantic Philanthropies - one of the most generous and secretive philanthropic funds in the world.
The implosion of the Soviet Union was the culmination of a gripping game played out between two men who intensely disliked each other and had different concepts for the future. Mikhail Gorbachev, a sophisticated and urbane reformer, sought to modernize and preserve the USSR; Boris Yeltsin, a coarse and a hard drinking “bulldozer,” wished to destroy the union and create a capitalist Russia. The defeat of the August 1991 coup attempt, carried out by hardline communists, shook Gorbachev’s authority and was a triumph for Yeltsin.