100 books like 57 Hours

By Paul Wilson, Vesselin Nedkov,

Here are 100 books that 57 Hours fans have personally recommended if you like 57 Hours. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?

David Satter Author Of The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep: Russia's Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin

From my list on contemporary Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

David Satter is a leading commentator on Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of five books on Russia and the creator of a documentary film on the fall of the U.S.S.R. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He has been a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, and an associate of the Henry Jackson Society in London.

David's book list on contemporary Russia

David Satter Why did David love this book?

The late Karen Dawisha offers the best account so far of Putin's early career and the connections and corruption that paved his path to power. Her historical examples of Putin's greed and connections with organized crime shed important light on the way Russia is ruled today.

By Karen Dawisha,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Putin's Kleptocracy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The raging question in the world today is who is the real Vladimir Putin and what are his intentions. Karen Dawisha’s brilliant Putin’s Kleptocracy provides an answer, describing how Putin got to power, the cabal he brought with him, the billions they have looted, and his plan to restore the Greater Russia.

Russian scholar Dawisha describes and exposes the origins of Putin’s kleptocratic regime. She presents extensive new evidence about the Putin circle’s use of public positions for personal gain even before Putin became president in 2000. She documents the establishment of Bank Rossiya, now sanctioned by the US; the…


Book cover of The Moscow Bombings of September 1999: Examinations of Russian Terrorist Attacks at the Onset of Vladimir Putin's Rule

David Satter Author Of The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep: Russia's Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin

From my list on contemporary Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

David Satter is a leading commentator on Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of five books on Russia and the creator of a documentary film on the fall of the U.S.S.R. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He has been a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, and an associate of the Henry Jackson Society in London.

David's book list on contemporary Russia

David Satter Why did David love this book?

The Russian apartment bombings of 1999 consolidated the criminal system put in place by Russian president Boris Yeltsin and created the conditions for Vladimir Putin to take power. In this book, Dunlop describes in meticulous detail the story of the bombings and shows that they were carried out by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) which means that they rank as the greatest political provocation since the burning of the Reichstag.

By John B. Dunlop,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Moscow Bombings of September 1999 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The five chapters of this volume focus on the complex and tumultuous events occurring in Russia during the five months from May through September 1999. They sparked the Russian invasion of Chechnya on 1 October and vaulted a previously unknown former KGB agent into the post of Russian prime minister and, ultimately, president. The five chapters are devoted to: * The intense political struggle taking place in Russia between May and August of 1999, culminating in an incursion by armed Islamic separatists into the Republic of Dagestan.* Two Moscow terrorist bombings of 9 and 13 September 1999, claiming the lives…


Book cover of Post-Soviet Russia: A Journey Through the Yeltsin Era

David Satter Author Of The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep: Russia's Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin

From my list on contemporary Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

David Satter is a leading commentator on Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of five books on Russia and the creator of a documentary film on the fall of the U.S.S.R. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He has been a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, and an associate of the Henry Jackson Society in London.

David's book list on contemporary Russia

David Satter Why did David love this book?

Russian historian Roy Medvedev, who has written classic works on Stalinism, recounts in this detailed and highly informed book the true consequences for Russia of Yeltsin era "shock therapy," including the impoverishment of the people, the destruction of the nation's health, and the rise of a criminal business oligarchy which in the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn was totally indifferent to the Russian people or "even if they survived at all."

By Roy A. Medvedev,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Post-Soviet Russia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Roy Medvedev, one of the world's best-known Russian scholars and a former consultant to both Gorbachev and Yeltsin analyzes the main events that have transpired in the Russian federation since late August 1991. He looks at the plans that were meant to restructure a society in crisis but-for reasons both complex and obvious-were destined to fail. From the drastic liberalization of prices and "shock therapy" to the privatization of state owned property and Yeltsin's resignation and replacement by Vladimir Putin, this is an intricately fascinating saga of good intentions, philosophical warfare, and catastrophic miscalculations. Among the many compelling facts detailed…


Book cover of Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism

David Satter Author Of The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep: Russia's Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin

From my list on contemporary Russia.

Why am I passionate about this?

David Satter is a leading commentator on Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of five books on Russia and the creator of a documentary film on the fall of the U.S.S.R. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He has been a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, and an associate of the Henry Jackson Society in London.

David's book list on contemporary Russia

David Satter Why did David love this book?

This biography by Paul Klebnikov, who was assassinated in Moscow in 2004, describes the criminality that accompanied Russia's transition from communism to capitalism as reflected in the life and activities of the most successful new capitalist, Boris Berezovsky. Through the prism of Berezovsky's career, he shows how the wealth created by the combined efforts of an entire people was successfully siphoned off by corrupt insiders to create the fortunes of the members of Russia's new oligarchic ruling class.

By Paul Klennikov,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Godfather of the Kremlin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From nuclear superpower to impoverished nation, post-communist Russia has become one of the most corrupt regimes in the world. Paul Klebnikov pieces together the previous decade in Russian history, showing that a major piece of "the decline of Russia' puzzle lies in the meteoric business career of Boris Berezovsky.
Transforming himself from a research scientist to Russia's most successful dealmaker, Berezovsky managed to seize control of Russia's largest auto manufacturer, largest TV network, national airline, and one of the world's biggest oil companies. When Moscow's gangster families battled one another in the Great Mob War of 1993-1994, Berezovsky was in…


Book cover of A Year Without Mom

Frieda Wishinsky Author Of Avis Dolphin

From my list on bringing real events and real kids alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the time I was a kid, I loved books about real people who lived through difficult and colorful times.  As a writer, I’ve written about people whose lives fascinated and inspired me like Franklin Law Olmsted (The Man Who Made Parks) I believe that a riveting story or memoir gives the reader a strong sense of a person and the times in which they lived. And after reading one of these books, I wanted to know more about the person and the period in which they lived.

Frieda's book list on bringing real events and real kids alive

Frieda Wishinsky Why did Frieda love this book?

This engaging graphic novel follows twelve-year-old Dasha as she is forced to separate from her mom who leaves for America to make a better life for the two of them. The spare yet touching text brings us into Dasha’s world in Russia and her fears and hopes for a new life. Based on Tolstikova’s own experiences, the book draws the reader into Dasha’s fears and joys.

By Dasha Tolstikova,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Year Without Mom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

It is the early 1990s in Moscow, and political change is in the air. But Dasha is more worried about her own challenges as she negotiates family, friendships and school without her mother. Just as she begins to find her own feet, she gets word that she is to join her mother in America - a place that seems impossibly far from everything and everyone she loves.

Dasha Tolstikova's major talent is on full display in this gorgeous and subtly illustrated graphic novel.


Book cover of The One and Only

Peter Martuneac Author Of Her Name Was Abby

From my list on with strong, admirable women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have an amazing daughter in my life, and I want there to be more books for her to read that feature strong, admirable, and good women in leading roles. That’s one of the things I keep an eye out for in the books I read as well as the books I write.

Peter's book list on with strong, admirable women

Peter Martuneac Why did Peter love this book?

So often, the ‘strong woman’ character is in fact just a really rude, self-centered person, but not here. In Julia Ash’s The ELI Chronicles series, Ruby is a kind-hearted, brilliant scientist trying to do what’s right for her family and for the world. She’s also a great mother and is in a healthy, wholesome marriage with a supportive husband. That’s wonderfully refreshing amidst the plethora of toxic relationships we see in movies and books.

By Julia Ash,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The One and Only as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“And while the zombie action is exceptional, readers will likely find themselves rooting for the messy demise of Ox, whose lechery boils from the page.” – Kirkus Reviews

Ruby thinks being a new mother and government microbiologist during a pandemic are hard enough. But then the pathogen mutates into ZOM-B and Russia kidnaps her while on assignment in Taiwan.

Somehow, Ruby is at the center of a global crisis.

Will she find out why? More importantly, can she save her family and perhaps the world?

If only she could break out of the Moscow prison and find her way back…


Book cover of Gorky Park

James Tarr Author Of Bestiarii

From my list on technically accurate thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

For people who know something about a technical field, there is nothing that can ruin a book or movie faster than inaccuracies about that field. I’ve worked as an armored car driver, police officer, and private investigator in and around Detroit, and have been writing for outdoor magazines for close to twenty years, so not only do I know a lot about the featured subjects/characters of most thrillers, I care about how accurately they’re portrayed, and have brought that passion to my writing. I’ve written five thrillers set in Detroit, many of them featuring a private investigator, and when writing Bestiarii and its sequels did extensive research on dinosaurs.

James' book list on technically accurate thrillers

James Tarr Why did James love this book?

As a child of the eighties I grew up in the Cold War, where the Soviet Union was the enemy…but most Americans didn’t know anything about it. 

Gorky Park peeled back the curtain on the day-to-day lives of a few not-so-average Russians. The hugely successful novel features Moscow policeman Arkady Renko investigating a murder that has international repercussions. This novel opened a window into a foreign world that few people in the West had ever seen—in addition to being very smartly written. 

Even today this novel is fascinating, and it spawned half a dozen more sequels starring Renko.

By Martin Cruz Smith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Gorky Park as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't miss the latest book in the Arkady Renko series, THE SIBERIAN DILEMMA by Martin Cruz Smith, 'the master of the international thriller' (New York Times) - available to order now!

THE NOVEL THAT STARTED IT ALL - ARKADY RENKO NOVEL #1

'One of those writers that anyone who is serious about their craft views with respect bordering on awe' Val McDermid

'Makes tension rise through the page like a shark's fin' Independent

***
Three bodies found frozen in the snow. And the hunt for the killer begins...

It begins with a triple murder in a Moscow amusement center: three…


Book cover of Moscow Diary

Andreea Ritivoi Author Of Intimate Strangers: Arendt, Marcuse, Solzhenitsyn, and Said in American Political Discourse

From my list on memoirs about crossing cultures to find yourself.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Romania, a closed society during the Cold War, and I never expected to live anywhere else, especially not in the West. When communism ended, I rushed out of Eastern Europe for the first time, eager to find places and people I could only read about before. I also discovered the power longing and homesickness can have on defining our identities. I moved to the United States, where I now live and work, cherishing my nostalgia for the world I left behind, imperfect as it was. The books I read and write are always, in one way or another, about traveling across cultures and languages.

Andreea's book list on memoirs about crossing cultures to find yourself

Andreea Ritivoi Why did Andreea love this book?

Walter Benjamin was a Jewish German philosopher who escaped Nazi Germany only to commit suicide upon arrival in Spain.

This book captures an earlier time in his life, when he was still hopeful, an idealist in search of intellectual adventures and political transformation. He went to Moscow to define his political vision and found a city both seductive and elusive. The intense winter scenes in the deep Muscovite cold are unforgettable, even though he mentions them almost in passing.

Benjamin had another reason to go to Moscow: he was in love. But the woman he wished to pursue was also elusive, unavailable both in practical and emotional terms. The book speaks to the fascination Western leftist intellectuals have had with Russian culture and politics, turning to Russia as an alternative to a corrupt West.

Benjamin’s reflections about philosophy, history, and the Moscow of the 1920s makes me fantasize about our…

By Walter Benjamin, Gary Smith (editor), Richard Sieburth (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moscow Diary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The life of the German-Jewish literary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is a veritable allegory of the life of letters in the twentieth century. Benjamin's intellectual odyssey culminated in his death by suicide on the Franco-Spanish border, pursued by the Nazis, but long before he had traveled to the Soviet Union. His stunning account of that journey is unique among Benjamin's writings for the frank, merciless way he struggles with his motives and conscience.

Perhaps the primary reason for his trip was his affection for Asja Lacis, a Latvian Bolshevik whom he had first met in Capri in 1924…


Book cover of Reading Chekhov: A Critical Journey

Edward Dusinberre Author Of Distant Melodies: Music in Search of Home

From my list on loss and discovery.

Why am I passionate about this?

For three decades I have been the first violinist of the Takács Quartet, performing concerts worldwide and based at the University of Colorado in Boulder. I love the ways in which books, like music, offer new and surprising elements at different stages of life, providing companionship alongside joys and sorrows. 

Edward's book list on loss and discovery

Edward Dusinberre Why did Edward love this book?

Suspicious of biography, Malcolm dissects various myths about Chekhov’s death in this engaging book that mixes travel writing with acute readings of Chekhov’s stories and plays. As Malcolm visits some of the places crucial to Chekhov’s life and work (the scenes in Ukraine are of course poignant), she moves seamlessly between her own everyday experiences and the predicaments of Chekhov’s characters. In amongst the despair, disappointment, and absurdity she discovers beauty, humor, and occasional visions of hope.

By Janet Malcolm,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Reading Chekhov as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To illuminate the mysterious greatness of Anton Chekhov’s writings, Janet Malcolm takes on three roles: literary critic, biographer, and journalist. Her close readings of the stories and plays are interwoven with episodes from Chekhov’s life and framed by an account of Malcolm’s journey to St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Yalta. She writes of Chekhov’s childhood, his relationships, his travels, his early success, and his self-imposed “exile”—always with an eye to connecting them to themes and characters in his work. Lovers of Chekhov as well as those new to his work will be transfixed by Reading Chekhov.


Book cover of Snowdrops

Keir Giles Author Of Moscow Rules: What Drives Russia to Confront the West

From my list on why Russia is the way it is.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professional explainer of Russia. For over 20 years I’ve been studying the country and trying to understand what makes it (and its leaders and people) so intent on attacking those around it and perceived adversaries further afield. That’s never been more important to understand than today when Ukraine and its soldiers are the only thing preventing Russia from once again rampaging across Europe. These books are ones that have helped me understand one part or several parts of the Russia problem, and I think they’ll be helpful for anybody else who wants to, too.

Keir's book list on why Russia is the way it is

Keir Giles Why did Keir love this book?

Russia in the 1990s was a strange place in a strange time, and Andrew Miller does a great job of capturing some of that strangeness in some of its more revolting extremes.

It’s fiction – supposedly - but the parallel world it describes will be instantly recognisable to anyone who was there or even brushed its edges. And if you weren’t, I think this is a better explanation of what happened than plenty of serious history books. And that, in turn, is essential for understanding where Russia is today – thirty years later, but with the echo of the mad years still shaping the country now. 

By Andrew Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Snowdrops as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2011

Snowdrops. That's what the Russians call them - the bodies that float up into the light in the thaw. Drunks, most of them, and homeless people who just give up and lie down into the whiteness, and murder victims hidden in the drifts by their killers.

Nick has a confession. When he worked as a high-flying British lawyer in Moscow, he was seduced by Masha, an enigmatic woman who led him through her city: the electric nightclubs and intimate dachas, the human kindnesses and state-wide corruption. Yet as Nick fell for Masha, he…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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