Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs--A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder


Product Details

Atria Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 0.7 X 8.3 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Ben Mezrich graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991. He has published twelve books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Accidental Billionaires, which was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film The Social Network, and Bringing Down the House, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies in twelve languages and became the basis for the Kevin Spacey movie 21. Mezrich has also published the national bestsellers Sex on the Moon, Ugly Americans, Rigged, and Busting Vegas. He lives in Boston.


"A harrowing and truly Russian tale about the river of greed and corruption that gushed out of post-Communist Russia, carried men to power and opulence, drowned them in murder and betrayal, and led to the rise of Vladimir Putin."--Lev Golinkin, author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka
"Mezrich turns his keen journalistic eye to Russia...and...the oligarchs... Mezrich focuses on two such men, a mentor and his young protΓ©gΓ©, who accumulated staggering wealth before personal differences tore apart their relationship... Mezrich's ability to tell a true (and well-documented) story in a way that makes it look and feel like the most involving of narratives is nearly unparalleled. He is one of the few writers whose name on a piece of nonfiction guarantees not only quality but also interest, no matter the subject, and this fine book is one more example of just how talented a storyteller he is."--Booklist (Starred Review)
"Mezrich relates the story in the form of a true-life novel. The bestselling author has used the device before, including in The Accidental Billionaires, which provided the basis for The Social Network... Interviews, first-person sources, court documents, and newspaper accounts as the basis for his narrative... make the story more accessible."--Financial Times
"With his knack for turning narrative nonfiction into stories worthy of the best thriller fiction, Ben Mezrich is one of our favorite writers."--Omnivoracious
"Wolf Hall on the Moskva!"--Bookpage.com
"Assassination plots, intimidation tactics, political maneuvering and money in unfeasibly large quantities... Based on a year of interviews with high-profile sources, it fleshes out almost 20 years of history with journalistic color and anecdotes."

"[A] fascinating and often chilling read."--The Sport (UK)
"Unputdownable."--Mail on Sunday
"Ben Mezrich knows how to find a good story. In his latest, the Boston-based writer has a corker."--Boston Globe
"The real-life tale of ... Putin's ascendency to power. After the fall of communism in Russia, a small new class developed, that of the oligarchs... the ambitious and opportunistic businessmen who led the wild and lawless economic conversion from state-run industries to market capitalism.... Mezrich's well-written account of this era of Russian history illuminates the tumultuous conversion of communism to capitalism."--Jacksonville News
Mezrich's most incredible story yet. A true-life thriller... a fascinating read.--Palo Verde Valley Times
"Undeniably readable."--Wall Street Journal, Best Business Books from 2015