Complex societies require rules. No rules, no complex societies. It’s that simple. Or is it? In the case of state-oriented societies, like late Tsarist Russia or the Soviet Union, a visible and important subset of those rules concern proper behavior towards and by government officials. The historical concentration of resources and power in the hands of the government created the nearly inevitable risk of people falling short of ideal impartiality or ideological rectitude. Hence the rules, particularly concerning the giving and taking of bribes by government officials. The challenge in Russia has been all the greater because for significant periods …
10 полузабытых деревянных аэропортов России, куда еще можно слетать
Just had a chance to catch up on the intersection of finance and the Bolshevik Revolution. Yes, there was an intersection, and it is ably documented in Hassan Malik’s new book. Catch the New Books Network interview here: https://tinyurl.com/y9cgscaa
Academic history can be, well, on the dry side. Fortunately, it does not have to be, as Tricia Starks, makes clear in her newly-published account, Smoking under the Tsars: A History of Tobacco in Imperial Russia (Cornell, 2018). The topic is naturally interesting (and controversial), but Stark’s account–part of a broader project on the history of Russia through the senses–makes the topic even more engaging. I understand that a follow up study of smoking culture during the Soviet period is in the works. I look forward to reading that as well.
On the lighter side, I hope you enjoy this video on investing in Russia. Alas, it will help if you understand Russian….