Leonid Krasin, commissioner of foreign trade, was one of the officials who helped legitimize the tsar's bullion.��
Published: февраля 25, 2009In the years before the Revolution, the Bolsheviks would fund their activities by holding up banks and stealing gold. As Sean McMeekin demonstrates in his new book, after seizing power in November 1917 these leopards didn't change their spots.
"History's Greatest Heist" is a comprehensive guide to the Bolshevik's appropriation of state and private assets, their subsequent laundering by Swedish bankers and use as security to fund purchases of arms to enforce their will on a starving population. Academic in its depth and execution and cinematic in its scope, McMeekin's work takes us through the first four years of Bolshevik rule, describing how a band of revolutionaries managed to establish rule over all of Russia.
The story begins in pre-Revolutionary Russia, portrayed by McMeekin as a burgeoning capitalist state, industrializing and modernizing at a fast pace. That may well have been the case, but he brushes over more uncomfortable elements of political suppression and massive economic inequality. (Sound familiar?)
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