The Russian Mafia: Private Protection in a New Market Economy
by Federico Varese
Release Date: September, 2001
Spending a fair amount of time perusing criminological literature I was expecting this book with great interest. Only to be disappointed: presented as a serious study on Russian mafia this book is a highly speculative piece of journalism. Unfortunately, however, it is not as easy to read. A windy introduction is followed by a collection of poorly structured chapters stuffed with unnecessary specialist jargon.
Having read a slough of books on the Italian Mafia, i was shocked to be shocked, but this was no disappointment. The Russian mafia is profoundly different in structure, resources & visibility. The author spends a fair amount of time on set-up, Russian history etc. to give the rise of the Russian mob some context, but it is well spent. I felt this was a compelling introduction to a mafia that is clearly on the rise.