Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Red Notice

Some of the last chapter of Peter Pomerantsev's Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia is set in London, in a world of Russian expatriates. There are hustlers and presumed crooks, there are the polished children of wealth come by dubiously. In this setting Bill Browder is an anomaly: an American, and a man not out to get more money or to swap some of it for status, but out to find a measure of justice for Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer murdered by the Russian legal system for exposing the frauds committed against Browder's companies. Pomerantsev gives a respectful picture of Browder and his lawyer Jamison Firestone, but they come off as a bit obsessed.  Pomerantsev's producers found the segment about them did not fit into the narrative of a TV show on Russians in London

Browder's own book Red Notice gives his story and Magnitsky's in great detail. He is in fact obsessed, and one cannot blame him. Rather than summarize the book, let me say that it is inexpensive--$17.00 US before tax--readable, and quickly read. If you have read newspapers or perhaps just listened to NPR, you may remember many of the details of the story. I did, but apart from the details I had never heard or had forgotten, I found it well worth reading..

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