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Blowing up Russia : Terror from Within Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • ISBN-10: 1561719382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561719389
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,608,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Thank you Sasha (Sasha is nickname for Alexander) !
reader4321
The downside to the book is that it is essentially impossible to follow and the facts cannot be verified.
David M. Dougherty
P.S. Max Weber memorably remarked that the decisive means for politics is violence.
R. A. Barricklow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Joanneva12a on July 26, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
BOOM! - In late 2003 nearly 4,500 copies of this book were seized and confiscated by the Russian Secret Service (FSB) as they tried to make their way from Latvia printing presses into Moscow. And no wonder. This book focuses on how elements of the old Soviet regime sought to steer Russia away from the liberal reforms since the fall of the old USSR. The multiple apartment bombings which ripped across the country in 1999, killing hundreds, were more than suspicious. The 'terrorists' were condemned and the tragedies quickly used as an excuse to drag Russia into a second wretched war with Chechnya which continues to this day. The book's spotlight on the attempted bombing in Ryazan leaves little doubt as to who the enemy really was.

The book's translation from Russian into English is superb, but the sheer volume of facts and information combined with the never-ending plethora of Russian names makes for a challenging read if you are up to it. The book however is an excellent primer into the "nomenklatura" mindset of corruption, coercion, and intimidation, and should be studied and kept as a grim reminder of what is possible when criminal elements in the state pursue their own political agendas - and how far they will go when the ends justifies the means in the political game of hardball.

Although the book is a study in extremism, there are still some associations to be made on a lesser level. Propaganda, intimidation, and internal investigations which never seem to come to fruition are just a few that come to mind. Despite the collapse of the USSR, Vladamir Putin, has placed many of his former KGB colleagues in positions of authority alongside him.
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Alexander Litvinenko is a 20-year veteran of the Russian military, achieving the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and serving in the KGB Department for the Analysis of Criminal Organizations, only to be arrested for disclosing a number of illegal orders he'd received and imprisoned. He escaped from Russia and received political asylum in Britain in May 2001. Yuri Felshtinsky studied history at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute and immigrated to America in 1978 where he obtained a doctorate in history from Rutgers. Felshtinsky is a recognized expert on Soviet Affairs and the other of several books on Russian history and politics. In Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within, Litvinenko and Felshtinsky collaborate to reveal a scathing accusation of the Russian special services, holding them responsible for acts of terror, kidnappings, contract killings, and efforts to steer Russia back to being a dictatorship. Blowing Up Russia also strenuously denounces the war in Chechnya for its deleterious toll on human life and freedom. A sobering, persuasively charged account, Blowing Up Russia is an essential text for Soviet Studies academic reference collections, and should be mandatory reading for anyone having political, cultural, or economic dealings with present-day Russia.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David M. Dougherty VINE VOICE on February 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This work covers an important subject -- namely the seizure of power in the Russia by the old KGB that is leading Russia back into an oligarchical tyranny. Democracy has been failing and it is only a matter of time (say in the next 10 years) that Russia will once again be a state likely to threaten world security. That is the main theme of this book, and the "how" is that the KGB puts up strawmen such as the Chechen terrorism to create a demand for a strong, central and non-democratic government to provide security (through power) to the Russian people.

The downside to the book is that it is essentially impossible to follow and the facts cannot be verified. The narrative skips around, going back and forth with dates, and the great number of players blithly thrown in almost indiscriminately makes for incomprehensible reading. The author is also guilty of a great amount of repetition. But the most troubling aspect to this work is that it contains absolutely no sources or references. The author promises to make them available to such agencies as will impartially investigate the subject matter of this book, but with no such agency likely to come forward in the next decade, proof of the authors' contentions will probably not be forthcoming for some time, if ever.

Had the book been organized better and written by a professional writer, I would have upgraded it to a four or five rating. The lack of sources and verification is troubling, but the book can serve its purpose of drawing the world's attentions to the problems of its KGB/FBS government even without such verifiable sources. I have no idea how anyone can tout the book as "eloquently written.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Catholic Reader on March 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is not about the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. But it is the book that got him murdered. If you imagine Russia as a nation on the mend from its communist sickness, think again. The former KGB and FSB operative (Litvienko) and his academic friend (Felshtinsky) published their book in Russia and it enraged Don Vito Putin. Putin, you'll recall, was the man about whom George W. Bush said: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy . . . I was able to get a sense of his soul." As Litvenko lay dying he wrote the following to Putin:

"You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed.

"You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilized value."

So much for President Bush's soul sense.
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