2008 • $35.00 • 324 pp • paper
In a unique, new book, Joseph Serio discusses the attitudes and practices of the criminal world, business, and policing, exposing the realities of the Russian Mafia. He convincingly demonstrates that many of the forces at work in the 1990s did not originate in the Communist era or arise because of the collapse of the USSR. Crime groups whose members came from every walk of life – underworld, police, KGB, Communist Party – have been part and parcel of the Russian experience for centuries. Discover why these elements take on a particularly ominous shape in the post-Soviet world and represent a long-term challenge to law enforcement, businesses, and democracy itself for both the Russian Federation and the rest of the world.
Investigating the Russian Mafia is ideal for students, law enforcement, practitioners, and business people operating in the former Soviet Union, as well as the general reader. Serio was the only American to work in the Organized Crime Control Department of the Soviet police. He later served as director of the Moscow office of a global investigation firm.
“Serio offers us privileged insights from his extraordinary vantage point. Serio’s analysis of Russian organized crime is multi-faceted and interdisciplinary—providing criminological, historical, economic, political, sociological and psychological perspectives on the subject.” — Dorothy McClellan, Texas A&M University
“This book should be required reading for anyone spending any time in Russia—certainly journalists and business people posted there, and students as well. Aside from the well-documented account of the lawless 1990s, it offers a rich history of Russian criminal life, from the times of Ivan the Terrible through to the Vory v zakone.” — Paul E. Richardson, Russian Life
“Clear, precise, accessible… I read it with great pleasure.” — Andre Bossard, Secretary General (ret.), Interpol
“Serio provides a road map to the Russian criminal mind set. Required reading for ALL law enforcement!” — Detective Douglas Fell, Vancouver B.C. Police Department, Co-Founder Western Association of Eastern European Organized Crime Investigators
“At a time when so many accounts in the West portray a one-sided and narrow view of the country, this book is a must-read to see a broader picture of the complexity inherent in Russia's transition from authoritarianism to democracy and from a planned to a market economy.” — Joel H. Samuels, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina School of Law
“New analysis of the development and character of organized crime in Russia. A superb book! It will be instructive for law enforcement practitioners and theorists concerned with countering or understanding regional and global organized crime.” — Graham H. Turbiville, Jr., Senior Fellow and Consultant, Department of Defense military and intelligence programs, Editor of Global Dimensions of High Intensity Crime and Low Intensity Conflict
“This is an important book, not only because it tells us something about the state of affairs in Russia, but also because it gives insight into things popular history is content to pass over… A comprehensive book that is very readable.” — John Lehman, BookReview.com
“In sum, the originality and appeal of this book comes from the fact that it manages to be at once well documented and argued without being laboriously academic, while at the same time being accessibly written without engaging in over-simplification or losing its critical edge. It is thus a very accessible introductory text on its subject and deserves to be read widely and not only by those with a specific interest in .mafias.'” — Gavin Slade, University of Oxford Centre for Criminology (DPhil candidate)
“This well-written, very readable work is extremely well documented, including copious footnotes.” — L.L. Vucic, CHOICE Magazine, formerly, Chatham College