(E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

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Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein FREE READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire ô PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Hort show exemplars of capitalistic cunning and tenacitybut just as American cocktail connoisseurs can mistake Absolut Skyy Grey Goose or Ketel One for the uintessential clear spirit so too has America’s vision of business history remained naïve to a truth long recognized in Eastern Europe since the time of Tsar Nicholas both vodka and commercial success have been. Linda Himelstein s The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov is a superbly constructed biography and an entertaining read It combines the compelling nature of a mystery thriller the exuisitely researched conciseness of high uality journalism in which good work speaks for itself the welcome authority of an historian without an agenda and beautiful use of the English language Indeed primary source research extending from before the family even had a name through the settlement of present day lawsuits has been made available to the Anglophone world in many cases apparently for the first time The success of this book on journalistic academic and literary planes is accomplished through the thoroughness of the background she creates without obscuring the scope of the work and the tone she sets throughout despite a surprising number of issues with grammar and editing Of special value are the images included in the book The key to the effectiveness of Himelstein s writing is her scope I felt that I learned a lot about the history and culture of Russia on a broad scale Everything that I learned was presented with just enough complexity to be intriguing to be credible but simply enough to be accessible to the reader without disrupting the narrative of Smirnov s life Not once did I have to re read a passage because the ordering was confused or there were too many references in play In fact the creative cast list that appears before the title page ensures that the reader will not become lost in a world of interchangeable characters even though the succinctness of the writing allows no danger of this anyway Time after time having set the stage for a key decision made by the hero or a dramatic situation he would have to confront Himelstein runs down Smirnov s list of options ruling them out one by one to arrive at what he actually did A fine example of this style is in his reaction to the temperance movement and the enacting of the state vodka monopoly a particularly thorny problem for Smirnov who was as unflinchingly loyal to the tsar and his policies as he was driven by the spirit of individual entrepreneurism pg 142 Himelstein s analysis of his thinking here is convincing not forced because she has woven in evidence of his worldview in this case his tsarist loyalty continuing from his days as a serf in detail throughout the book It is not a characteristic she attributes to him with an eye to building her argument at this point but one of a great many themes running the length of his life Together they compose a revealing portrait and a convincing one they must be fair and true because they are apparent both in retrospect and from primary sources She has even made it clear through her description of his character family and class why a serf would feel such patriotic loyalty an attitude that might seem counter intuitive to someone who had not read the book Another fine example occurs in the final chapter before the epilogue when Vladimir has finally made the connection with Rudolph Kunett that would finally save Smirnov vodka Having painted a picture of the possibility effectively communicating Vladimir s emotion as he lay dying Himelstein declares Vladimir could not have imagined how right he was p 325 This gives the reader impetus to delve into the next chapter because the sense of big events in the history of the family and the vodka stems from the emotional state of the central figure poignantly portrayed by the author In outlining Russian alcoholism throughout history common knowledge for today s reader Himelstein notes that in fact Russians were not the most prodigious drinkers in Europe pg 126 adding to our historical knowledge through the subseuent explanation and giving us really enjoyable writing She offers the counter argument to what she has just written that Russians were not actually worse alcohol abusers than others and turning it into an ingenious redirect using the supports of this argument the uality and regulation of vodka how it was consumed its uniue role in society to transform an understanding of Russia into an understanding of Smirnov The reader now has an insightfully concise understanding of Russian problems with alcohol because they were central to Smirnov s firm from its conception to its pinnacle Even when it becomes necessary to provide a long passage of historical background such as the one on Tsar Aleksander II pgs 113 115 it is always given in relation to Smirnov to preserve the directness of the writing and to allow the reader to hold focus This is not to imply that the history is not intriguing on its own account This is the genius of Himelstein s scope and the literary uality of her writing the reader is not following the subject s life but experiencing the world just as Smirnov would have avoiding the kind of omniscient or retrospective attitude that can cause biographies to become unmanageably boring precisely by destroying their focus Having set the parameters of the narrative like a reporter limited for space or a seasoned researcher Himelstein piles on the stuff that makes the book great carefully chosen fascinatingly explained facets of Russian history and culture that build on common knowledge without ever overwhelming the reader Rather than dropping names like Tolstoy and Lenin simply because they happened to be alive at the same time as the subject as happens all too often the author uses an entire literary genre as evidence of broad social attitudes pg 61 recounts the growth of the Bolsheviks from the earliest easily crushed labor organizers distrusted by government aristocracy and laborers alike pg 106 themselves echoes of earlier cholera riots pg 3 follows Smirnov s descendants to the extent possible tracking his formerly irresponsible son Vladimir through repeated escapes from execution pgs 241 297 298 and patterns of Russian emigrants pgs 301 321 as the means by which Vladimir least likely of Pyotr Smirnov s offspring to do so barely managed to save Smirnov vodka etc Himelstein doesn t only fashion complete arguments based on major cultural elements rather than forcing conclusions from carefully culled examples She further ties these arguments to points of Russian culture with which the reader will already be familiar relates it to the reader s sense of his own history and couches it in key aspects of the subject s life That is every event in the book connects with the reader on three levels For example Tolstoy s leadership of the temperance movement engages Tolstoy a well known Russian figure around the world bizarrely resembles North American Prohibition in its philosophy causes and effects and has a complex interaction with Smirnov himself as he builds his vodka empire Himelstein explains this turning point in Russian history and for the Smirnov firm by implicitly drawing a comparison to current affairs recognizable to readers in any country especially as the book was first released in 2009 From the outset Vyshnegradskiy a self made millionaire was preoccupied with erasing the state s budget deficit and strengthening its overall economic health His blueprint involved raising taxes reorganizing the railroad system increasing exports and launching the vodka and tobacco monopolies He hoped to prop up Russia s international profile attracting new foreign investors and capital Vyshnegradskiy s plan worked to a pointRussians namely peasants did not share in the state s largesse Rather they suffered greatly under the heavy weight of mounting tax obligations and a decline in world grain prices Their living conditions plummeted pg 151 Introducing these big ideas only as they become relevant to Smirnov s life allows the author to maintain the scope of the work and keeps all material within the reader s grasp Himelstein s style works on the small scale as well as the large Her explanation of Smirnov changing trains in Warsaw to reach Vienna from Moscow because of the difference in Russian rails from European ones pg 83 is one of those small touches of expertise that makes the book sparkle Himelstein s account of Smirnov s life in short is indisputable because it is crafted with exuisite knowledge in broad cultural terms from all available evidence in a logical and fascinating way Only a few small problems in Himelstein s arguments present obstacles to her brilliant analysis of Smirnov s life In describing Smirnov s little sympathy for the attempts at labor activism on the part of rude disrespectful almost criminal radicals pg 106 she has glossed over the fact that Smirnov s upward mobility freeing himself from serfdom before it was emancipated and elbowing his way into Moscow s merchant class were also actions significantly eased if not made possible by building pressure on the government on the part of the lower classes She has separated Aleksander II s reforms the very actions that spawned Smirnov s enormous success pg 106 with the lower class activism that Smirnov despised when the two are in truth inseparable Still she could be entirely correct in her determination of Smirnov s attitude That is the flaw in her logic might only be reflecting a flaw in Smirnov s thinking More serious glitches in the logic of the narrative come when Himelstein in explaining the Russian temperance movement draws a conclusion by comparing an absolute statistic to a subjective one Russia had five times the number of alcohol related deaths that France did per capita consumption of liuor in France was higher pg 140 but this means nothing without at least contrasting the populations of Russia and France Later crime and especially violent crime is tied to alcohol consumption in the same way Tolstoy and others might have made this argument pg 140 but Himelstein fails to account for the possibility that unruly people both commit crimes and drink alcohol unhappier Russians could be hurting their compatriots and drinking alcohol rather than because of drinking alcohol Himelstein could but neither acknowledges nor explains this major logical problem The effectiveness of the book s structure and the accessible uality of the information it provides make it a good book but what makes it enjoyable to read is its appropriate tone The author is clearly very familiar with Russian and uses Russian terms to illuminate cultural points but never in know it all fashion The etymology of vodka from voda water xix for instance is a key to understanding the highly evolved varied role vodka has played in Russian society from the 16th century on The change from Smirnov to Smirnoff unceremoniously changed where necessary in the book and the subject of Chapter 23 illustrates the attempts to save Smirnov vodka in various Western countries and the split which once it took root in the US would become a great East West business dispute Everyone is familiar with the form of names like Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Peter Son of Ilya Himelstein uses this form of address in dialogue to demonstrate relationships of respect or formality without interrupting her train of thought pg 109 The average reader who has heard Tchaikovsky s name but has no idea about Russian grammar comes to understand these things through their use not through a burdensome explanation like the one I am giving here Although the readiest examples of the effective tone have to do with points of language Himelstein s tone lends credence to all aspects of the book The lives of Pyotr Smirnov s children are known in greater detail than those of anyone in his own generation Smirnov was distressed by his sons lack of drive by various forms of indiscipline by his daughter Mariya s suitor Yet despite all the related documentation the author has painstakingly collected no judgment of any family member on the father s part is suggested to the reader if it does not come from a primary source The narrator is trustworthy because she is a completely objective expert Himelstein s authoritative unbiased tone even waxes literary The best example is the beginning of Chapter 15 pg 203Russia came into the twentieth century resembling a tree in early autumn All of its leaves were still intact and bountiful some even uite beautiful But they had begun to lose their vibrancy A gradual weakening was taking place brought on by the country s increasingly contentious political economic and social realities Though few said so openly there was a growing sense among certain sectors that it was only a matter of time before the nation like the decaying leaves fell to the ground exhaustedIn the subseuent pages pgs 203 205 Himelstein transforms the nation described above into a metaphor of the Smirnov family itself a poetic turn of thought that has engaged the reader s previous knowledge of Russian history connected what is to follow with the circumstances described in preceding chapters elegantly foreshadowed events to come and done the whole thing not tangentially but with direct relevance to Smirnov s life at this point in the story Her writing is sprinkled throughout with such inspired passages It is completely effective and enjoyable everywhere In addition to the strength and elegance of the writing The King of Vodka benefits from the high uality of its images beginning pg 258 some of which are not easily accessible otherwise if at all Himelstein has chosen photographs some of them apparently acuired with some difficulty that not only illustrate but add to descriptions found within the pages of her book They demonstrate not only personalities but significant events and conditions of society and their clarity is remarkable In particular the photo of Valentina Piontkovskaya proves the author s description of her almost magical aura Valentina s dark eyes were expressive and memorable because they shone in the same way diamonds do changing their sparkle and brightness with the slightest shift in her gazeValentina carried herself like a ueen pg 255 The Smirnovs 3000 Flashing Bottles of the Nizhniy Novgorod fair Chapter 12 are too fabulous for the reader to synthesize without the image presented here These wonderful photos give a face to every character illuminating the heights they reached and the depths to which they fell Even the red washed view of Smirnov s section of Moscow on the front cover shows where the bulk of Smirnov s life will take place even before the reading begins The fact that such an exact group of photographs can be presented proves that Himelstein s analysis has evolved organically from the evidence If anything was deliberately or accidentally excluded from Smirnov s life these images would either contradict the narrative or be much less complete The photographs are used as an effective narrative tool rather than a visual aid In such a great work of non fiction it is shocking that so many errors can be found These have certainly not destroyed the uality of the writing but they all detract from it Some of them do in fact obscure or change the meaning Several times atypical or unidiomatic usage can be found the kind that might be expected of a non native writer which Himelstein a career journalist with several major newspapers and magazines would not seem to be It would be possible that unusual usage is meant to contribute to the tone of the book by giving a sense of Russian syntax if this usage were found throughout the book Instead we see Smirnov would later became famous with mixed tenses pg 57 as much if not than reality pg 80 ago when she clearly meant before pg 82 Despite urging from the tsar s officials which causes a bit of confusion because we most commonly would expect being urged by or Despite the officials urging where despite urging wants to be followed by an indirect object pg 154 moved into offense when we would expect moved into attack mode went on the offensive etc pg 155 and late into the night which serves a continuous action when late at night should have been used for a one time action pg 285 Certain serious errors don t change the writing but do damage by distracting the reader The bizarre use of a dash set off by a comma can be seen in though the business carried Arseniy s name and he was the official owner pg 49 We are still waiting for the second dash to conclude the interruption and return us to the main idea of the sentence but like a CD skipping somehow end up back in the stream of the sentence without knowing how Some distractions are errors in type setting and to how profit from it pg 49 Some are terms used illogically The dawn of 1873 began peacefully pg 81 when of course the author meant that 1873 began peacefully or that the dawn of 1873 was peacefulOther serious errors do not actually change the meaning of what Himelstein wrote but do change the emphasis which takes away from the carefully polished uality of her writing In one letter he wrote pg 181 should be followed by anecdotal evidence of what was in the letter since he wrote is a phrase describing letter to introduce a uotation from the letter a comma should have been written after letter The inappropriate combination of a superlative with a non matching adjective very considerable pg 300 even if it was a uoted translation renders the idea in uestion vague And the use of a per year statistic for an event happening in a non specific time frame weakened by the ualifiers average by some Muscovites and up to undercuts statistical evidence of alcohol purchases used as part of the argument pg 334 The lack of a comma following it obscures the pronoun by confusing its object threatening one of Himelstein s especially poetic turns of phrase Puffy bags drooped from Smirnov s eyes stretching it seemed for the floor where they could rest pg 157 The worst of the errors change the meaning of what is written on the page Fortunately it is always possible to figure out what was meant without any trouble because the context is always so clear but that doesn t have to be true She has written reining when she clearly meant reigning pg 68 unbeknown to his father rather than unbeknownst to his father meaning that his father does not know him rather than that his father does not know the information in uestion pg 161 a hallow gesture rather than a hollow one pg 231 Mobs raised and burned the German embassy instead of razed pg 276 and an attack of part of our troop rather than by part of our troop pg 300 meaning of course that the troop was attacked not attacking The misplaced modifier Unaffected his stunned murderers pg 280 means that Rasputin s murderers were both unaffected and stunned a logical impossibility when he failed to be killed by poison and gunshots It is probably meant that the murderers were stunned when the victim was unaffected A prison s dehumanizing treatment of its enemies pg 298 certainly is referring to its inhabitants or its prisoners It is also likely that the subject is the Bolshevik army and the location is the prison A series of attempts on the tsar s life the latest of which came in April 1879 pg 111 means that the last attempt on the tsar s life happened then when of course it is meant that the most recent attempt before the events being described at that point in the book was in April 1879 in which case the sentence should read the latest of which had come Now as he Nemesis uintessential clear spirit so too has America’s vision of business history remained naïve to a truth long recognized in Eastern Europe since the time of Tsar Nicholas both vodka and commercial success have been. Linda Himelstein s The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov is a superbly constructed biography and an entertaining read It combines the compelling nature of a mystery thriller the exuisitely researched conciseness of high ImpulseThe Best MistakeTemptation uality journalism in which good work speaks for itself the welcome authority of an historian without an agenda and beautiful Murder on Black Swan LaneA Wrexford Sloane Mystery use of the English language Indeed primary source research extending from before the family even had a name through the settlement of present day lawsuits has been made available to the Anglophone world in many cases apparently for the first time The success of this book on journalistic academic and literary planes is accomplished through the thoroughness of the background she creates without obscuring the scope of the work and the tone she sets throughout despite a surprising number of issues with grammar and editing Of special value are the images included in the book The key to the effectiveness of Himelstein s writing is her scope I felt that I learned a lot about the history and culture of Russia on a broad scale Everything that I learned was presented with just enough complexity to be intriguing to be credible but simply enough to be accessible to the reader without disrupting the narrative of Smirnov s life Not once did I have to re read a passage because the ordering was confused or there were too many references in play In fact the creative cast list that appears before the title page ensures that the reader will not become lost in a world of interchangeable characters even though the succinctness of the writing allows no danger of this anyway Time after time having set the stage for a key decision made by the hero or a dramatic situation he would have to confront Himelstein runs down Smirnov s list of options ruling them out one by one to arrive at what he actually did A fine example of this style is in his reaction to the temperance movement and the enacting of the state vodka monopoly a particularly thorny problem for Smirnov who was as Lady Beresfords Lover The Marriage Game #7 unflinchingly loyal to the tsar and his policies as he was driven by the spirit of individual entrepreneurism pg 142 Himelstein s analysis of his thinking here is convincing not forced because she has woven in evidence of his worldview in this case his tsarist loyalty continuing from his days as a serf in detail throughout the book It is not a characteristic she attributes to him with an eye to building her argument at this point but one of a great many themes running the length of his life Together they compose a revealing portrait and a convincing one they must be fair and true because they are apparent both in retrospect and from primary sources She has even made it clear through her description of his character family and class why a serf would feel such patriotic loyalty an attitude that might seem counter intuitive to someone who had not read the book Another fine example occurs in the final chapter before the epilogue when Vladimir has finally made the connection with Rudolph Kunett that would finally save Smirnov vodka Having painted a picture of the possibility effectively communicating Vladimir s emotion as he lay dying Himelstein declares Vladimir could not have imagined how right he was p 325 This gives the reader impetus to delve into the next chapter because the sense of big events in the history of the family and the vodka stems from the emotional state of the central figure poignantly portrayed by the author In outlining Russian alcoholism throughout history common knowledge for today s reader Himelstein notes that in fact Russians were not the most prodigious drinkers in Europe pg 126 adding to our historical knowledge through the subseuent explanation and giving Stolen Magic us really enjoyable writing She offers the counter argument to what she has just written that Russians were not actually worse alcohol abusers than others and turning it into an ingenious redirect Where the Lotus Flowers Grow using the supports of this argument the Montana Gundown uality and regulation of vodka how it was consumed its Before Daylight One Night in South Beach #4 understanding of Russia into an Spirit of the Season understanding of Smirnov The reader now has an insightfully concise The Viscount's Bride Zebra Historical Romance understanding of Russian problems with alcohol because they were central to Smirnov s firm from its conception to its pinnacle Even when it becomes necessary to provide a long passage of historical background such as the one on Tsar Aleksander II pgs 113 115 it is always given in relation to Smirnov to preserve the directness of the writing and to allow the reader to hold focus This is not to imply that the history is not intriguing on its own account This is the genius of Himelstein s scope and the literary The Paradise Bargain uality of her writing the reader is not following the subject s life but experiencing the world just as Smirnov would have avoiding the kind of omniscient or retrospective attitude that can cause biographies to become Death in Saratoga Springs unmanageably boring precisely by destroying their focus Having set the parameters of the narrative like a reporter limited for space or a seasoned researcher Himelstein piles on the stuff that makes the book great carefully chosen fascinatingly explained facets of Russian history and culture that build on common knowledge without ever overwhelming the reader Rather than dropping names like Tolstoy and Lenin simply because they happened to be alive at the same time as the subject as happens all too often the author Blood Rose Blood #2 uses an entire literary genre as evidence of broad social attitudes pg 61 recounts the growth of the Bolsheviks from the earliest easily crushed labor organizers distrusted by government aristocracy and laborers alike pg 106 themselves echoes of earlier cholera riots pg 3 follows Smirnov s descendants to the extent possible tracking his formerly irresponsible son Vladimir through repeated escapes from execution pgs 241 297 298 and patterns of Russian emigrants pgs 301 321 as the means by which Vladimir least likely of Pyotr Smirnov s offspring to do so barely managed to save Smirnov vodka etc Himelstein doesn t only fashion complete arguments based on major cultural elements rather than forcing conclusions from carefully culled examples She further ties these arguments to points of Russian culture with which the reader will already be familiar relates it to the reader s sense of his own history and couches it in key aspects of the subject s life That is every event in the book connects with the reader on three levels For example Tolstoy s leadership of the temperance movement engages Tolstoy a well known Russian figure around the world bizarrely resembles North American Prohibition in its philosophy causes and effects and has a complex interaction with Smirnov himself as he builds his vodka empire Himelstein explains this turning point in Russian history and for the Smirnov firm by implicitly drawing a comparison to current affairs recognizable to readers in any country especially as the book was first released in 2009 From the outset Vyshnegradskiy a self made millionaire was preoccupied with erasing the state s budget deficit and strengthening its overall economic health His blueprint involved raising taxes reorganizing the railroad system increasing exports and launching the vodka and tobacco monopolies He hoped to prop Merry and Bright up Russia s international profile attracting new foreign investors and capital Vyshnegradskiy s plan worked to a pointRussians namely peasants did not share in the state s largesse Rather they suffered greatly Best Laid Plans under the heavy weight of mounting tax obligations and a decline in world grain prices Their living conditions plummeted pg 151 Introducing these big ideas only as they become relevant to Smirnov s life allows the author to maintain the scope of the work and keeps all material within the reader s grasp Himelstein s style works on the small scale as well as the large Her explanation of Smirnov changing trains in Warsaw to reach Vienna from Moscow because of the difference in Russian rails from European ones pg 83 is one of those small touches of expertise that makes the book sparkle Himelstein s account of Smirnov s life in short is indisputable because it is crafted with exuisite knowledge in broad cultural terms from all available evidence in a logical and fascinating way Only a few small problems in Himelstein s arguments present obstacles to her brilliant analysis of Smirnov s life In describing Smirnov s little sympathy for the attempts at labor activism on the part of rude disrespectful almost criminal radicals pg 106 she has glossed over the fact that Smirnov s Seduction On The 401 upward mobility freeing himself from serfdom before it was emancipated and elbowing his way into Moscow s merchant class were also actions significantly eased if not made possible by building pressure on the government on the part of the lower classes She has separated Aleksander II s reforms the very actions that spawned Smirnov s enormous success pg 106 with the lower class activism that Smirnov despised when the two are in truth inseparable Still she could be entirely correct in her determination of Smirnov s attitude That is the flaw in her logic might only be reflecting a flaw in Smirnov s thinking More serious glitches in the logic of the narrative come when Himelstein in explaining the Russian temperance movement draws a conclusion by comparing an absolute statistic to a subjective one Russia had five times the number of alcohol related deaths that France did per capita consumption of liuor in France was higher pg 140 but this means nothing without at least contrasting the populations of Russia and France Later crime and especially violent crime is tied to alcohol consumption in the same way Tolstoy and others might have made this argument pg 140 but Himelstein fails to account for the possibility that Being Emerald New Atlanta #3 unruly people both commit crimes and drink alcohol Million Dollar Cowboy Cupid Texas #5 unhappier Russians could be hurting their compatriots and drinking alcohol rather than because of drinking alcohol Himelstein could but neither acknowledges nor explains this major logical problem The effectiveness of the book s structure and the accessible Silent Victim uality of the information it provides make it a good book but what makes it enjoyable to read is its appropriate tone The author is clearly very familiar with Russian and Caroline's Secret uses Russian terms to illuminate cultural points but never in know it all fashion The etymology of vodka from voda water xix for instance is a key to Cause of Fear understanding the highly evolved varied role vodka has played in Russian society from the 16th century on The change from Smirnov to Smirnoff Secrets of a Duchess unceremoniously changed where necessary in the book and the subject of Chapter 23 illustrates the attempts to save Smirnov vodka in various Western countries and the split which once it took root in the US would become a great East West business dispute Everyone is familiar with the form of names like Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Peter Son of Ilya Himelstein West End Girls uses this form of address in dialogue to demonstrate relationships of respect or formality without interrupting her train of thought pg 109 The average reader who has heard Tchaikovsky s name but has no idea about Russian grammar comes to Mulch Ado About Murder Local Foods Mystery #5 understand these things through their Birthday Party Murder Lucy Stone Mystery Book 9 use not through a burdensome explanation like the one I am giving here Although the readiest examples of the effective tone have to do with points of language Himelstein s tone lends credence to all aspects of the book The lives of Pyotr Smirnov s children are known in greater detail than those of anyone in his own generation Smirnov was distressed by his sons lack of drive by various forms of indiscipline by his daughter Mariya s suitor Yet despite all the related documentation the author has painstakingly collected no judgment of any family member on the father s part is suggested to the reader if it does not come from a primary source The narrator is trustworthy because she is a completely objective expert Himelstein s authoritative Death by Chocolate Savannah Reid Mystery Book 8 uite beautiful But they had begun to lose their vibrancy A gradual weakening was taking place brought on by the country s increasingly contentious political economic and social realities Though few said so openly there was a growing sense among certain sectors that it was only a matter of time before the nation like the decaying leaves fell to the ground exhaustedIn the subseuent pages pgs 203 205 Himelstein transforms the nation described above into a metaphor of the Smirnov family itself a poetic turn of thought that has engaged the reader s previous knowledge of Russian history connected what is to follow with the circumstances described in preceding chapters elegantly foreshadowed events to come and done the whole thing not tangentially but with direct relevance to Smirnov s life at this point in the story Her writing is sprinkled throughout with such inspired passages It is completely effective and enjoyable everywhere In addition to the strength and elegance of the writing The King of Vodka benefits from the high Hawkes Prey Sonny Hawke Thriller #1 uality of its images beginning pg 258 some of which are not easily accessible otherwise if at all Himelstein has chosen photographs some of them apparently acuired with some difficulty that not only illustrate but add to descriptions found within the pages of her book They demonstrate not only personalities but significant events and conditions of society and their clarity is remarkable In particular the photo of Valentina Piontkovskaya proves the author s description of her almost magical aura Valentina s dark eyes were expressive and memorable because they shone in the same way diamonds do changing their sparkle and brightness with the slightest shift in her gazeValentina carried herself like a Within a Captains Fate Captains of the Scarlet Night #3 ueen pg 255 The Smirnovs 3000 Flashing Bottles of the Nizhniy Novgorod fair Chapter 12 are too fabulous for the reader to synthesize without the image presented here These wonderful photos give a face to every character illuminating the heights they reached and the depths to which they fell Even the red washed view of Smirnov s section of Moscow on the front cover shows where the bulk of Smirnov s life will take place even before the reading begins The fact that such an exact group of photographs can be presented proves that Himelstein s analysis has evolved organically from the evidence If anything was deliberately or accidentally excluded from Smirnov s life these images would either contradict the narrative or be much less complete The photographs are Bound in Lingerie Bare Naked Designs #3 used as an effective narrative tool rather than a visual aid In such a great work of non fiction it is shocking that so many errors can be found These have certainly not destroyed the Unsavory Notions uality of the writing but they all detract from it Some of them do in fact obscure or change the meaning Several times atypical or La mort de Staline unidiomatic Say No To Joe? usage can be found the kind that might be expected of a non native writer which Himelstein a career journalist with several major newspapers and magazines would not seem to be It would be possible that Song of the Silk Road unusual Scone Cold Dead usage is meant to contribute to the tone of the book by giving a sense of Russian syntax if this Danger At Every Turn usage were found throughout the book Instead we see Smirnov would later became famous with mixed tenses pg 57 as much if not than reality pg 80 ago when she clearly meant before pg 82 Despite The Temptation of Laura urging from the tsar s officials which causes a bit of confusion because we most commonly would expect being Die Grandpa Die Pinnacle True Crime urged by or Despite the officials Hired Happy Endings #2 urging where despite A Winter Wonderland A Lucy Stone Mystery #185 urging wants to be followed by an indirect object pg 154 moved into offense when we would expect moved into attack mode went on the offensive etc pg 155 and late into the night which serves a continuous action when late at night should have been Hot Summer Nights used for a one time action pg 285 Certain serious errors don t change the writing but do damage by distracting the reader The bizarre The Bloody City Siren Song #2 use of a dash set off by a comma can be seen in though the business carried Arseniy s name and he was the official owner pg 49 We are still waiting for the second dash to conclude the interruption and return Diary of A Young Girl us to the main idea of the sentence but like a CD skipping somehow end Lord Haven’s Deception up back in the stream of the sentence without knowing how Some distractions are errors in type setting and to how profit from it pg 49 Some are terms The Right Wife used illogically The dawn of 1873 began peacefully pg 81 when of course the author meant that 1873 began peacefully or that the dawn of 1873 was peacefulOther serious errors do not actually change the meaning of what Himelstein wrote but do change the emphasis which takes away from the carefully polished A Future for Three uality of her writing In one letter he wrote pg 181 should be followed by anecdotal evidence of what was in the letter since he wrote is a phrase describing letter to introduce a Soul Stripper Soul Stripper #1 uotation from the letter a comma should have been written after letter The inappropriate combination of a superlative with a non matching adjective very considerable pg 300 even if it was a Mercury Striking uoted translation renders the idea in Fated uestion vague And the Soap Dreams use of a per year statistic for an event happening in a non specific time frame weakened by the Dead Man's Song Book 2 ualifiers average by some Muscovites and Dream On Dreams Come True #1 up to Four Days in Dixie undercuts statistical evidence of alcohol purchases At Any Cost US Marshals #4 used as part of the argument pg 334 The lack of a comma following it obscures the pronoun by confusing its object threatening one of Himelstein s especially poetic turns of phrase Puffy bags drooped from Smirnov s eyes stretching it seemed for the floor where they could rest pg 157 The worst of the errors change the meaning of what is written on the page Fortunately it is always possible to figure out what was meant without any trouble because the context is always so clear but that doesn t have to be true She has written reining when she clearly meant reigning pg 68 Brotherhood of Evil The Family Jensen #6 unbeknown to his father rather than Arizona Ambush unbeknownst to his father meaning that his father does not know him rather than that his father does not know the information in A Texas Hill Country Christmas uestion pg 161 a hallow gesture rather than a hollow one pg 231 Mobs raised and burned the German embassy instead of razed pg 276 and an attack of part of our troop rather than by part of our troop pg 300 meaning of course that the troop was attacked not attacking The misplaced modifier Unaffected his stunned murderers pg 280 means that Rasputin s murderers were both A Hire Love unaffected and stunned a logical impossibility when he failed to be killed by poison and gunshots It is probably meant that the murderers were stunned when the victim was An Unexpected Wish A Ladys Wish #1 unaffected A prison s dehumanizing treatment of its enemies pg 298 certainly is referring to its inhabitants or its prisoners It is also likely that the subject is the Bolshevik army and the location is the prison A series of attempts on the tsar s life the latest of which came in April 1879 pg 111 means that the last attempt on the tsar s life happened then when of course it is meant that the most recent attempt before the events being described at that point in the book was in April 1879 in which case the sentence should read the latest of which had come Now as he

READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an EmpireThe King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire

Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein FREE READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire ô PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Synonymous in Russia with one name Smirnoff Linda Himelstein’s critically acclaimed biography of Russian vodka scion Pyotr Smirnov a finalist for the James Beard Award winner of the IACP and Saroyan Awards and a BusinessWeek Best Business Book of 2009 is the sweeping story of entrepreneurship empire and epicurean triumph unlike anything the world has ever seen befor. I thought the history of alcohol could be boring but Pyotr Smirnov s story is surprisingly interesting Eual parts intriguing and factual From serf to the King of Vodka Pyotr s story becomes increasingly interesting with each turn of the page If you want to know the origin of Smirnoff vodka then this book is a great place to start If you want to dip your toes into Russian history you can t go wrong with this book While it focuses on Smirnov s story and later his family s it does provide information on Russian events as they happen I d definitely recommend reading this book to those who especially love history and Russian historyculture in particular as well as those curious about Smirnoff s origins Barenaked Jane unlike anything the world has ever seen befor. I thought the history of alcohol could be boring but Pyotr Smirnov s story is surprisingly interesting Eual parts intriguing and factual From serf to the King of Vodka Pyotr s story becomes increasingly interesting with each turn of the page If you want to know the origin of Smirnoff vodka then this book is a great place to start If you want to dip your toes into Russian history you can t go wrong with this book While it focuses on Smirnov s story and later his family s it does provide information on Russian events as they happen I d definitely recommend reading this book to those who especially love history and Russian historyculture in particular as well as those curious about Smirnoff s origins

REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein

Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein FREE READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire ô PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB “A operatic tour de force” Tilar J Mazzeo author of The Widow Clicuot“An impressive feat of research told swiftly and enthusiastically” San Francisco ChronicleFrom Vanderbilt and Rockefeller to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs America’s captains of industry are paragons of entrepreneurial success and books about business history from The First Tycoon to The Big S. I enjoy both biographies and vodka martinis A martini should be dry a biography should not What I liked It does include some really interesting background on Russian political history It shines as a business bio his strategies excruciatingly detailed and well researched even inspirational The guy was a marketing genius 1st Russian to introduce branding a self made millionaire caught between the shifting tides of the fall of the Tsars and the rise of Communism no small feat His marketing tactics were entertaining For example he d round up impoverished serfs stake them drinking money with instructions to hit as many taverns as possible the deal being they d demand Smirnov s vodka and nothing else or they d take their business elsewhere Unheard of as taverns were used to serving the cheapest gut rotting swill the only criteria it got you drunk fast and was made of potatoes It worked tavern owners beat down his door begging for his product brilliant Where it failed Fascinating story that reads like a textbook I finished with no clear sense of Smirnov as a man And back to the vodka this is a book about vodka right I expected to pickup some interesting trivia to drop at cocktail parties Nada2 12 stars Barenaked Jane used to serving the cheapest gut rotting swill the only criteria it got you drunk fast and was made of potatoes It worked tavern owners beat down his door begging for his product brilliant Where it failed Fascinating story that reads like a textbook I finished with no clear sense of Smirnov as a man And back to the vodka this is a book about vodka right I expected to pickup some interesting trivia to drop at cocktail parties Nada2 12 stars


10 thoughts on “(E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

  1. says: (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

    READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein I enjoy both biographies and vodka martinis A martini should be dry a biography should not What I liked It does include some really

  2. says: (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

    READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein Wow inspiring and sad story of Pyotr Smirnov his legacy and Russian capitalismAll I could think about while listening is that He built that without government help The timing of my reading of this at this time was uncanning given what is going on in US politics todayHe built thatand that is the story Smirnov vodka was the first branded product in Russia and many imitators followed continuously trying to dethrone the king throug

  3. says: (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

    Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein Linda Himelstein's biographical account of Russia's top vodka producer Pyotr Smirnov is in itself exhilarating The premise of the book

  4. says: REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

    (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein Though not particularly well written it's an easy read and a uick brush up on Russian history for those who want to talk about dead people at parties

  5. says: (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ

    (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire Pretty good but at times dry Kind if ironic for a book about alcohol

  6. says: (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein

    (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ Linda Himelstein’s The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov is a superbly constructed biography and an entertaining read It combines the compelling nature of a mystery thriller; the exuisitely researched conciseness of high uality journ

  7. says: (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

    REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein I thought the history of alcohol could be boring but Pyotr Smirnov's story is surprisingly interesting Eual parts intriguing and factual From serf to the King of Vodka Pyotr's story becomes increasingly interesti

  8. says: (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

    (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire This is a well researched and detailed account not just of Pyotr Smirnov but also of his family both before and after his birth that is surprisingly easy to read given the many and varied themes and events that are discussed ranging f

  9. says: Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

    READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ “The King of Vodka” by Linda Himelstein published by HarperCategory – Biography Publication Date – November 30 2010This is the story of Pyotr Smirnov known commonly as Smirnoff It traces his life his family’s lives and a condensed

  10. says: (E–pub New) [The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire] AUTHOR Linda Himelstein

    READ The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire REVIEW Ì PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ñ Linda Himelstein Linda Himelstein Ñ 6 FREE READ A fascinating tragic look at the history of a family company running in tandem with the fascinating tragic history that is the story of Russia Knowing what is to come there is a great sense of loss that permeates the story of the Smirnov'sone that makes the reader glad the family patriarch didn't live to see the madness chaos that destroyed his family and then his company An addictive read

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  • Hardcover
  • 416
  • The King of Vodka The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire
  • Linda Himelstein
  • English
  • 09 January 2018
  • 9780060855895