Londongrad: From Russia with Cash; The Inside Story of the Oligarchs

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9780007278862: Londongrad: From Russia with Cash; The Inside Story of the Oligarchs

The amazing true story of how London became home to the Russian super-rich – told for the first time ever. A dazzling tale of incredible wealth, ferocious disputes, beautiful women, private jets, mega-yachts, the world’s best footballers – and chauffeur-driven Range Rovers with tinted windows.

A group of buccaneering Russian oligarchs made colossal fortunes after the collapse of communism - and many of them came to London to enjoy their new-found wealth. Londongrad tells for the first time the true story of their journeys from Moscow and St Petersburg to mansions in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Surrey - and takes you into a shimmering world of audacious multi-billion pound deals, outrageous spending and rancorous feuds.

But while London's flashiest restaurants echoed to Russian laughter and Bond Street shop-owners totted up their profits, darker events also played themselves out. The killing of ex-KGB man Alexander Litvinenko in London to the death - in a helicopter crash he all but predicted - of Stephen Curtis, the lawyer to many of Britain's richest Russians, chilled London's Russians and many of those who know them.

This is the story of how Russia's wealth was harvested and brought to London - some of it spent by Roman Abramovich on his beloved Chelsea Football Club, some of it spent by Boris Berezovsky in his battles with Russia's all-powerful Vladimir Putin. Londongrad is a must-read for anyone interested in how vast wealth is created, the luxury it can buy, and the power and intrigue it produces.

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Review:

Praise for Londongrad:

“an important and fascinating story… gripping” - Sam Leith, the Daily Mail

“magnificently emetic” - Rod Liddle, the Sunday Times

“A gripping chronicle of the decadence, danger and sheer power that defined a phenomenon… thoroughly researched… a compelling read” - Jeremy Hazlehurst, City AM

“a racy and alarming investigation” - the Economist

Praise for Stewart Lansley’s Top Man - How Philip Green Built His High Street Empire:

“Thorough and well-written… A rattling good story” - The Observer

“Scrupulously researched” - The Financial Times

Praise for Mark Hollingsworth’s Thatcher’s Fortunes - The Life And Times of Mark Thatcher:

"Undoubtedly investigative journalism at its very best (and, it must be said, far more readable than most)" - Time Out

"Makes an impact…got Mark Thatcher bang to rights" - Sunday Telegraph

From the Author:

Stewart Lansley, co-author of Londongrad

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm an academic turned journalist, living in south London. Spend far too much time in front of this computer screen, but relax playing tennis, gardening, reading and walking. Love nothing more than exploring other parts of the world.

2. What books have had a lasting impact on you?
Arther Kostler, Darkness at Noon. Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities. Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance. Allister Sparks, The Mind of South Africa.

3. Why do you write?
Good question. Mostly, it seems, for love.

4. As an author, what are you most proud (or embarrassed) of writing? Poor Britain, a book that has had enormous influence across the world in the way we perceive and measure poverty.

5. What is your biggest failure?
There are so many, it's difficult to pinpoint one!

6. When you were a kid, what did you think were you going to be when you grew up?
A fireman.

7. If you could go anywhere in time for one day, where would you go and why?
Yalta, February 1945 where Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt carved up the spoils of the impending defeat of Hitler - the key moment in 20th century history which defined the post-war world

8. Do you like reading on e-books?
‘Fraid not.

9. Who are the five people, living or dead, you'd invite to a party? Roman Abramovich, Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Litvinenko, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Vladimir Putin and keep the tape recorder on.

10. What are you working on at the moment? (doesn't have to be a literary answer)
The redistributional impact of the recession and a book on the post-war history of the rich.

Mark Hollingsworth, co-author of Londongrad

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Likes: Humour, politics, music, sports, eccentrics, movies, stories. Dislikes: Being approached in the street by strangers, speaking in public, wasting time, racists, being interrupted, shopping.

2. What books have had a lasting impact on you?
'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck. '1984' by George Orwell

3. Why do you write?
Curiosity, fascination with language and I prefer to communicate through writing rather than talking. Besides, I cannot think of an alternative way of making a living!

4. As an author, what are you most proud (or embarrassed) of writing? 'The Ultimate Spin Doctor' (a biography of Tim Bell). 'Saudi Babylon' (about the Saudi Royal Family). Several articles in 'ES' magazine (London Evening Standard)

5. What is your biggest failure?
Being too slow and allowing myself to be distracted by other writing and journalistic projects while writing a book.

6. When you were a kid, what did you think were you going to be when you grew up?
Absolutely no idea

7. If you could go anywhere in time for one day, where would you go and why?
The civil rights march on Washington DC in 1963 to hear Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech, because of being present in a moment of history.

8. Do you like reading on e-books?
Definitely not, but happy to sell them.

9. Who are the five people, living or dead, you'd invite to a party?
Peter Cook, Lenny Bruce, Michelle Obama, Princess Diana and Miles Davis

10. What are you working on at the moment? (doesn't have to be a literary answer)
Profile of the Rothschild family

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Mark Hollingsworth, Stewart Lansley
Published by Fourth Estate (2009)
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