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The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire
 
 
Author
Linda Himelstein.
Publisher Harper  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1.4 inches
ISBN 9780060855895
Pages/Publication Date 384/2009
Daedalus Item Code 31600
List Price: $29.99
Sale Price: $5.98
You Save: $24.01
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Description
In this sweeping history of vodka magnate Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov and his family, Linda Himelstein plumbs a great riddle of Russian history through the story of a poor serf, born in a small village in 1831, who rose to create one of the most celebrated business empires in the world. Smirnov comes to life as a hero of wonderful complexity: a man of intense ambition and uncanny business sense, a patriarch of a family that would help define Russian society and suffer from the Revolution's aftermath, and a loyalist to a nation that would one day honor him as a treasure of the state.

"The first Russian brand architect and seller of high-quality, low-cost liquor, Smirnov makes for a fascinating subject in his trajectory and outsize ambition.... Himelstein has triumphed with a timeless book that entertains, informs and inspires any would-be entrepreneur to chase his dreams."Publishers Weekly

"As she describes Smirnov's innovations that induced customer loyalty, Himelstein highlights the ex-serf's parallel striving for social respectability as, a generous philanthropist, he sought and received many tsarist honors. But alas for his capitalist fortune. What the second generation of Smirnovs didn't squander, the Bolsheviks expropriated. Capping the saga with the legal survival of the Smirnov trademarks, Himelstein's storytelling success distills diligent research into something appealing to popular tastes for family and Russian history alike."Booklist

 
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