The author will discuss his new book, which tells the story of American participation in the dismantling of the Soviet economy and the creation of the Russian market economy in the 1990s. It is based on more than 100 interviews with citizen diplomats, entrepreneurs, bankers, consultants, and aid program administrators active in Russia in those years. The book chronicles the real-life experiences of these Americans as they participated in building new sectors of the post-Soviet Russian economy in finance, investment, stock trading, real estate, restaurants, public relations, law, and media (television, radio, newspapers, and movies) at a time of historically unprecedented collaboration and interaction between Russians and Americans.
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rise of official Russian anti-Western nationalism, it is easy to lose sight of the profound transformation of Russian life in the 1990s and the critical role of Americans in those changes, which have fundamentally altered the structure of modern Russian life as well. Appreciating the extent of American and European influence on Russia in the 1990s is also fundamental to
understanding the Russian nationalist backlash of today.
The interview excerpts and analysis in the book are a necessary corrective to stereotypical presentations of Russia in the 1990s and argue for a more sophisticated look at Russia and its enduring role in the geopolitics, economics, and culture of our evolving world.
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