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THE KREMLIN'S NOOSE: Vladimir Putin’s Blood Feud with the Oligarch Who Made Him Ruler of Russia
by Dr. Amy Knight


Cornell University Press * May 2024

Amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, THE KREMLIN’S NOOSE is crucial to understanding the post-Soviet era and Putin’s two-decade reign

Labeled in a 2000 book as the "Godfather of the Kremlin," Boris Berezovsky was a trained mathematician, successful businessman, and media mogul who played a key role in the formation of the Russian Federation after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. Though dramatically different in background and temperament than Vladimir Putin, the Jewish Berezovsky and the inscrutable former KGB official shared similar drives for power and money, and each was willing to do anything to gain them. Soon, a feud festered between the oligarch and the new president of Russia, a veritable clash of titans. Their struggle crossed borders after Berezovsky moved to London, where in 2013 he died under circumstances that are still not fully understood.

In THE KREMLIN’S NOOSE: Vladimir Putin’s Blood Feud with the Oligarch Who Made Him Ruler of Russia, Amy Knight chronicles the Berezovsky-Putin relationship, shedding crucial light on the drive for vengeance that has led Putin to lash out against his perceived enemies, even when the consequences to this behavior have been damaging for Russia. The Putin-Berezovsky drama is an essential part of the larger narrative of Russia’s evolution over the past three decades. Knight’s book documents how the Soviet Union devolved from a totalitarian state that might have become a fledgling democracy but has instead become an authoritarian regime presided over by Putin – and with no end in sight to his rule.

As a Russian-speaking author of six books on Soviet/Russian history and politics, Amy Knight is a scholar who does impeccable research and writes engagingly. She began g her career as an academic specialist, she's earned praise as a contributor in her field to the New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the Globe & Mail, and the Daily Beast. Her pieces for the Daily Beast draw an especially broad audience, with two recent articles each gaining 250,000+ views soon after publication. She was herself profiled by an editor at the NYRB after she profiled Putin critic Alexi Navalny for the publication.

For this book, Dr. Knight, has personally interviewed knowledgeable sources who were observers of the Berezovsky-Putin relationship. These include Alex Goldfarb (Berezovsky's right-hand-man); Marina Litvinenko (wife of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned in London, and a longtime close friend of Berezovsky); Michael Cotlick, Berezovsky's former attorney; independent Russian journalist Evgeniya Albats; Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza; New Yorker contributor Masha Gessen; Luke Harding of The Guardian; Berezovsky's daughter Elizaveta; Mikhail Khodorkovsky; Bill Browder, and others.

Complementing all the interviews that Dr. Knight has undertaken, as is her norm. she has also read widely through Russian independent media, including Radio Ekho Moskvy, Kommersant, Novaya Gazeta, Novoe Vremya (New Times); books published in Russia; and the mainstream Russian press. The combination of firsthand observations from key sources and her extensive research has allowed her to produce an imperative history book with great insight into post-Soviet Russia under Putin.

THE KREMLIN’S NOOSE will be Amy Knight's sixth book on the Soviet Union and Russia, since she began publishing books in 1995. She's earlier been published by Princeton (twice), Hill & Wang, Carroll & Graf, and St Martin's.

Attached is the book proposal from Cornell University Press’s Northern Illinois University Press who will publish their North American edition in April or May 2024. Biagi Literary Management represents the author’s agency, Philip Turner Book Productions.

A new point of information regarding The Kremlin's Noose by Amy Knight, on the relationship and the feud between Vladimir Putin and Boris Berezovsky:

Peter Morgan, creator of the series ‘The Crown,’ wrote a play about Putin and Berezovsky called Patriots - on stage in London in 2022 and now coming to Broadway (free link below, no paywall):


“A deeply researched book, undeniably the best and most detailed examination so far of how important it is to beware what you wish for, and how Berezovsky elevated and then fell foul of Putin.” - Mark Galeotti, Putin's Wars

“Putin casts a larger shadow over Russia's fate than anyone expected when he became president and so do those who got him to the Kremlin. Berezovsky first among them. Their roles in Russia's history must be investigated. A veteran Russia watcher, Amy Knight is perfectly equipped to do this. -- Andrei Soldatov, The Compatriots

As one of the world's most careful observers of Russian elite politics, Knight has written another compelling book of how Berezovsky and other members of Yeltsin's inner circle failed to comprehend the perils of putting Putin in power, a horrific miscalculation for Urkainians first and foremost, but also for all those around the world who believe in democracy and peace and have been paying ever since. -- Michael McFaul, a From Cold War to Hot Peace