Book Review: Red Notice

Growing up with two Russian parents, I never thought Russia could do any wrong.

My Soviet-raised, conservative and patriotic parents were so thickly coated in their propaganda, passed on to them through fake news and nationalism that I rarely even questioned their beliefs. Putin is one of the greatest leaders Russia has ever seen? Sure. Russia is the most powerful and resistant country in the world? Ok. 

From the way they talked about it, it was difficult to think otherwise. In their perspective, other nations were constantly plotting against the innocent and completely victimised Russia. In some cases, I support this theory as other countries are likely to feel threatened by such a large power, but in other cases it’s only ignorant to think that Russia plays no part in their own alienation. 

Living in Russia’s capital of Moscow, I was far from blind to the many flaws that embodied the country. Average quality of education, an unorganised health system and unreliable businesses were evident all across the city, but I was largely hidden from the pernicious corruption that plagued the government. 

Source: Unsplash

Bill Browder’s Red Notice highlighted the complete fallibility of Russia and its hidden fragility. No longer was Russia posed as a limitless superpower, instead Browder has captured its puerile nature and the tantrum that emerges when the government’s desires are opposed. 

Browder exposes the corruption that is far from declining and why Russia is how it is today. To what lengths will the government go to preserve its amoral system? Well, they won’t give it up easily, ensuring to use brutality as its signature weapon.

Browder takes us on a journey through his personal and professional life, explaining how he came to establish his own investment company through his Russian experience.

From trekking through married life to trekking through corporate life, Browder shares what it was that triggered his expulsion from Russia and the avalanche of events that followed. 

A seemingly simple story, Browder manages to portray it, almost, as a fictional novel. Gripping and thought-provoking, readers are taken on an emotional ride through the stock market where Browder’s peace never seems to last for more than a few minutes. 

As someone who is rarely phased by business prose, this book had me caring about every ruble that was lost and gained.

Covering human rights, investment, and friendship, Red Notice surprised me with its sincere and varied content. It features the brave Sergei Magnitsky who fought for democracy and justice until his very last breath, proving that true nationalists aren’t those who accept their corrupt country as is, but are those who believe that it can be better. 


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