The arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of the Yukos oil company, in October 2003, was a key turning point in modern Russian history. From being one of the world's richest and most powerful men, Khodorkovsky became Putin's prisoner. After two controversial trials, attracting widespread international condemnation, Khodorkovsky was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. In this book, Richard Sakwa examines the rise and fall of Yukos and considers the relationship between Putin's state and big business during Russia's traumatic shift from the Soviet planned economy to capitalism, as well as Russia's emergence as an energy superpower. The attack on Khodorkovsky had - and continues to have - far-reaching political and economic consequences but it also raises fundamental questions about the quality of freedom in Putin's Russia as well as in the world at large.
About the Author
Richard Sakwa is professor of Russian and European Politics and head of the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent. He is also an associate fellow of the Russian and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House and the author of Communism in Russia. Sakwa currently resides in the UK.
'Richard Sakwa has provided a lively, balanced, and insightful account of the rise, fall, and regeneration of one of Russia's richest men and his confrontation with the country's leader. The book offers revealing accounts of the two trials and their impact at home and abroad, and of the writings of Mr. Khodorkovsky in prison, who emerges in this account as a thoughtful critic of Russian reality.' Peter H. Solomon, Jr., University of Toronto; 'There is much that can be learned about Russia's evolution in Khodorkovsky's trajectory from Young Communist organiser to oil magnate, political prisoner to emigre. Sakwa's superb study is not only the best account yet of Khodorkovsky's rise, fall and metamorphosis, but also uses his tale to explore the contradictions of Russian capitalism and governance in a way that contributes ably to our understanding of the country.' Mark Galeotti, Professor of Global Affairs, New York University; 'Richard Sakwa expertly retraces the accomplishments and trials of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, transporting the reader inside the boardroom, the courthouse, and the prison cell to elucidate how one man's personal experience has come to symbolize an entire era in Russian history. Sakwa further explores Khodorkovsky's political journey, juxtaposing his career with Vladimir Putin's and analyzing Khodorkovsky's prison writings to reveal his complicated relationship to power and his evolving views on law, liberalism, and civil society. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand where Russia has been, and where it is going, Sakwa reveals the central contradictions of modern-day Russia and how the need to reform invariably collides with the absolute prerogatives of the Russian state.' William E. Pomeranz, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Woodrow Wilson Center; 'Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky is one of the most significant figures of contemporary Russian history, despite, or because of, his 10 years of incarceration. Whatever the origins of his wealth, he has established himself through his letters and writings from prison as a leading conservative and rival in this regard to Vladimir Putin: a patriot and propagandist for the free market, and for a constitutional state. For many Russians he and his wife Inna are true descendants of the aristocratic Decembrists who rose up for freedom in 1825. Only Richard Sakwa, with his unrivalled detailed knowledge of contemporary Russia, would be able to respond so quickly to Khodorkovsky's unexpected early release from prison with such a comprehensive account of his life to date, combined with a penetrating analysis of the significance of this crucial personality.' Bill Bowring, author of Law, Rights and Ideology in Russia: Landmarks in the Destiny of a Great Power; 'a valuable contribution to the scholarship on Russian contemporary society. Moritz Pieper, Europe-Asia Studies;
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 13th May 2014
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.5 x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 1