Elisabeth Schimpfössl’s Rich Russians: From Oligarchs to Bourgeoisie offers a fascinating insight into the lives, values, and identities of the Russian superrich. Filled with riveting details and curious observations, the book reads in one breath. The book’s relevance stems from its timeliness, given the surging interest in the West to learn more about Russian elites. The elegantly written book brilliantly portrays the complex souls of Russian oligarchs, exposing their inner contradictions, desires, and aspirations. Schimpfössl’s extensive sociological analysis of Russian elites challenges contemporary stereotypes, calling for conceptual rethinking and more empirically grounded theories.
By Kirill Kalinin. American Journal of Sociology Volume 125, Number 3. November 2019