Summary of The Russian Mafia

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Russian Mafia book summary


8 Overall

7 Importance

8 Innovation

6 Style


Running a business in Russia is every bit as unsavory as you might imagine, according to Federico Varese's thoroughly researched look at that nation's organized (but not very organized) criminals. Even the lowliest shopkeeper faces shakedowns from drug addicts and teenage thugs, as well as bribe demands from tax collectors and police. In this chaotic climate, the protection racket thrives. Pay the right person, and not only will the shakedowns end – you might even gain a business partner and a fishing buddy. But the penalties for making the wrong move can be severe. One shopkeeper who refused to pay up was burned to death in his store. Varese offers an intricately detailed look at the realities of the Russian Mafia. His excellent reporting is undermined only by his frequently academic writing style. getAbstract recommends this guide to those who are doing business in Russia or who hope to. Caveat entrepreneur.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Russia's move to a market economy helped create the pervasive protection racket; and
  • How Russian criminals use illegal tactics against ordinary people.

About the Author

Federico Varese, Ph.D., an academic expert on organized crime, is a professor of criminology at the University of Oxford. He has taught at Williams College and Yale University.



Organized Criminals Fill a Power Vacuum
Russia's rocky shift from communism to capitalism in the early 1990s created a climate in which organized criminals thrived. For starters, the end of the planned economy created instant property owners, and those new capitalists suddenly had to ...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Contained in Knowledge Pack:

  • Knowledge Pack
    Still emerging from the shadow of Communism or a hotbed of opportunity for Capitalists who show up early?

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category