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Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice Hardcover – February 3, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,372 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Reads like a classic thriller, with an everyman hero alone and in danger in a hostile foreign city . . . but it’s all true.” (Lee Child, bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series)

"The first half of Red Notice traces Browder’s improbable journey from prep-school washout through college, business school, and a series of consulting and Wall Street jobs before becoming Russia’s largest foreign investor....This book-within-a-book does for investing in Russia and the former Soviet Union what Liar’s Poker did for our understanding of Salomon Brothers, Wall Street, and the mortgage-backed securities business in the 1980s. Browder’s business saga meshes well with the story of corruption and murder in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, making Red Notice an early candidate for any list of the year’s best books." (Norman Pearlstine Fortune)

"The story of Sergei Magnitsky's life and death is a shocking true-life thriller, and Bill Browder was the man to write it." (Tom Stoppard)

“In Red Notice, Bill Browder tells the harrowing and inspiring story of how his fight for justice in Russia made him an unlikely international human rights leader and Vladimir Putin's number-one enemy. It is the book for anyone interested in understanding the culture of corruption and impunity in Putin's Russia today, and Browder’s heroic example of how to fight back.” (Senator John McCain)

"This book reads like a thriller, but it's a true, important, and inspiring real story. Bill Browder is an amazing moral crusader, and his book is a must-read for anyone who seeks to understand Russia, Putin, or the challenges of doing business in the world today." (Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and The Innovators)

"A fascinating and unexpected story." (Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie)

"Browder’s true story is a heart-in-your-throat page turner, and the only close-up look I know of what it’s like to take on Putin. It is also a moving account of a man who found his calling, and ended up winning in the end." (Bryan Burrough, co-author of Barbarians at the Gate and author of Public Enemies and The Big Rich)

"A fascinating, heart-stopping account of how to take on Putin--and win. It's exciting to read about Browder's roller-coaster ride to wealth in Russia, and to learn how his compassion for Sergei Magnitsky, his murdered lawyer, inspired his memorable struggle against the venal apparatchiks of a corrupt state. This is the gripping--and absolutely true--story behind the Magnitsky Law, a signal advance in human rights." (Geoffrey Robertson, human rights lawyer and author of Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle For Global Justice)

"This indispensable look at the brutal realities of the Putin regime is of even greater relevance thanks to Bill Browder’s unique expertise and personal experience inside the belly of the beast.” (Garry Kasparov, Chess Grandmaster and author of How Life Imitates Chess)

"Bill Browder has become one of the most sincerely hated men in the Kremlin over the years--and that is something to be incredibly proud of. . . . This book shows the difference that one person can make when they refuse to back down, as told by a fellow soldier in the battle to hold Putin to account." (Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina, members of Pussy Riot)

"Browder’s narrative lays out in vivid detail the often murky mechanisms of Russia’s kleptocratic economy, culminating in an engrossing account of what would surely be the heist of the century were it not so representative of business as usual.  It’s also a chilling, sinister portrait of a society in which the rule of law has been destroyed by those sworn to enforce it.  The result is an alternately harrowing and inspiring saga of appalling crime and undeserved punishment in the Wild East." (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“An almost unbelievable tale . . . well-paced, heartfelt . . . It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ but Browder's account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin's thugocracy.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"[Browder's] freewheeling, snappy book describes the meteoric rise, and disastrous fall, of a buccaneer capitalist who crossed the wrong people and paid a steep price. . . The high stakes make for a zesty tale." (New York Times)

“[A] riveting account of Browder’s journey through the early years of Russian capitalism….Begins as a bildungsroman and ends as Greek tragedy…. ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ Magnitsky tells Browder, in the book’s most memorable line. Perhaps not, but they do have inspiring ones.” (The Washington Post)

“A swashbuckling story that’s been justly compared with Michael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker.” (Vulture.com)

“In his new book, Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice, Bill Browder writes the way he talks—which is always a good strategy. His autobiography is bracing, direct and honest, with only a little less swearing than you encounter in person. It is both a political thriller and an argument for morality in foreign policy that he could never have expected to make when he began his roaring career in finance.” (The Daily Beast)

“Bill Browder, the unexpected hero and author of this suspenseful memoir, is no ordinary investment banker. . . . It is fascinating to follow him as he navigates the kleptocratic Russian economy. . . Most of the story is about finance, revolving around things like valuation anomalies and share dilutions, and all of it comes surprisingly alive." (Boston Globe)

"I don’t know anything about investment banking except what Browder has taught me in Red Notice, yet as a reader I was fully engaged by the book’s monumental presentation of the risks, rewards, and personal and financial dangers of doing business in Russia....An unusually affecting book...What Browder says he intends to do now is to 'carry on creating a legacy for Sergei [Magnitsky] and pursuing justice for his family.' A book as resounding as Red Notice may be a step in that direction." (Christian Science Monitor)

“An impassioned personal broadside against the Kremlin.” (Financial Times)

“A jaw-dropping account.” (The Bookseller (UK))

“A sizzling account of Mr. Browder’s rise, fall and metamorphosis from bombastic financier to renowned human-rights activist." (The Economist (UK))

"Rattling through the high-finance world of New York and London, and then on to the seedier side of life in Moscow, Red Notice sometimes stretches credulity. But just as Browder really is a hedge fund manager turned human rights activist, so this story of courage combined with a dash of obsessiveness is about the real here and now. . . . He reminds us that heroism sometimes lies in unlikely places. Browder deserves our respect." (The Independent (UK))

“An unrelenting parable of how Russia’s rulers cheat and harm their citizens…a very Russian tale, as well as an important one.” (The Spectator (UK))

“A fascinating exposé.” (The Guardian (UK))

"A tale that makes the dirty dealings of House of Cards look like Snow White." (The Toronto Star)

“The financial thriller book category just met its match.” (Pensions and Investments)

“Riveting…Browder’s story of investing bravado turns into a thriller as compelling as any John le Carré spy novel.” (Institutional Investor)

“A scathing indictment of Putin’s brutal kleptocracy.” (Value Walk)

“A gripping read…fascinating.” (Management Times (UK))

“Browder's book is, to my knowledge, the first unveiling of the intrinsically mafia-like nature of Putinism in all its breathtaking scope and horror.” (The Huffington Post)

“Red Notice is a dramatic, moving and thriller-like account of how Magnitsky’s death transformed Browder from hedge-fund manager to global human rights crusader.” (The Guardian (US edition))

About the Author

Bill Browder, founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005. Since 2009, when his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was murdered in prison after uncovering a $230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials, Browder has been leading a campaign to expose Russia’s endemic corruption and human rights abuses. Before founding Hermitage, Browder was vice president at Salomon Brothers. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Stanford Business School.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147675571X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476755717
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,372 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ian K. VINE VOICE on November 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read a lot of Russian and Soviet history and I am interested in hedge funds, so I picked this book off the Amazon Vine list. What I did not expect was a book that was so hard to put down that it would keep me up late reading. Bill Browder has written a remarkable and compelling book.

Red Notice is the story of Bill Browder's hedge fund, Hermitage Capital, which at one time was the largest foreign investor in Russia. Hermitage produced extremely high returns and, before its demise, Browder had four and a half billion dollars under management. Unlike hedge funds like Long Term Capital Management (Inventing Money), the fund didn't blowup (although it came close in 1998). Instead, it was destroyed by the corrupt Russian government. This the story of Heritage Capital's rise and fall. It is also the story of the murder of a Russian tax lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky who worked for Browder. Red Notice is also an account of Bill Browder's crusade for at least some measure of justice for Magnitsky.

Boris Yeltsin and his advisers who inherited the Russian state wanted to make sure that communism would never return. To do this they wanted to create a capitalist state that would replace the centrally planned communist economy. Gorbachev had almost been overthrown in a coup by the communist old guard, so Yeltsin and his advisers felt that they had to put the state on an irreversible course away from communism as soon as possible. This meant privatizing the assets of the communist state (which was all of Russian) in a vast fire sale. Many assets and newly formed companies were sold for a fraction of their value.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Red Notice is the real life story of trader Bill Browder. Bill started off life as the grandson of the former leader of the communist part USA, Earl Browder.

Without giving away too much, the book starts with a brief history of the authors early life before proceeding to his university days at Chicago and Stanford before moving to London to be a research analyst for a few firms. Bill worked for some of the companies that had major scandals at the time including the biggest pension scandal in UK history perpetrated by Robert Maxwell. Throughout the author had one overriding wish, to work in Eastern Europe. To that end he setup his own firm, Hermitage Capital, moved to Russia and came across amazing opportunities as the fall of the Berlin wall and communism was taking place. This is really where the meat of the first half of the book comes in. Starting out with just $25 Million in seed money from Edmund Safra (one of the richest people in the world), Hermitage Capital went on to become one of the largest investment banks in Russia growing to over $4 Billion.

This then starts the second half of the book which exposes the total corruption that exists in Russia, going right up to Vladimir Putin himself. Bill was blacklisted by the Russian government, denied entry in to the country where his business was. His fight to not only get his investors out of Russia but also the people that worked for him, raids by the FSB, illegal transfer of companies through corruption and bribery at the highest levels in the Russian Government and leading to the brutal torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer that worked for Hermitage Capital.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was a terrific book. Part biography, history, and thriller it looks at the author's career in the world of investment and finance.
Bill Browder on the face of it seemed like an unlikely participant in this engrossing tale. His grandfather Earl Browder was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the United States during the first half of the 20th century. His father was a Mathematics professor at the University of Chicago. Bill grew up on the south side of Chicago and was a lackluster student, but something clicked and he turned of to be a superstar in the world of finance. It was finance and a serious interest in Russia that lead to a position heading up a hedge fund company after the Soviet Union collapsed. He made a name for himself and he was secure until he found that Russian officials were robbing the companies that he was investing in. This knowledge lead to Browder being expelled from the country by no less than Putin himself.
It turned out that a little digging by Browder's Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and a raid on Browder's office uncovered a theft in the amount of $230 million dollars. It was Magnitsky's dogged investigation and testimony against the thieves that exposed a much larger organization of criminal activity. Magnitsky's participation in exposing this corruption lead to his arrest, imprisonment, torture and eventual death.
It also lead to exposing or awakening another side of Browder as a human rights activist.
This story is complex and interesting. What I found particularly fascinating was Browder's back story since he seemed an unlikely candidate to become a wizard of finance or a human rights activist despite his family background.
This well written book does an excellent job of blending the reality of what is going on in Russia with a story about a crime with many victims.
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