The misadventures of a book about the “new special service elite”

posted 31 Oct 2011, 04:43 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 31 Oct 2011, 04:45 ] (info), 24/10/11 

        ·         Freedom of expression  ·         Security services  ·         Moscоw city & Moscow region

After being informed that the online bookshop was no longer selling our book The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB (2011) we asked BU Printing, our Russian publishers, to comment. This was their reply:

“The book has been withdrawn from the shops on the recommendation, and with the approval, of our security service as a commodity, the sale of which would constitute a risk to the company. A report that the FSB had taken an interest in the book was publicly available last week online [...]

Andrei Kuzmenko, Head of BU printing and digital books”

Following outraged reports on the Internet Soldatov and Bogoran’s The New Nobility again went on sale online. The special services had not intended to boost interest in a work that criticised them but that is what they achieved. As a Russian prime minister memorably said, 'Their intentions were good but the result was the usual cock-up'. Over the following two months The New Nobility became a bestseller in Russia and, according to the rating quoted in the weekly trade magazine Knizhnoe obozrenie, it reached second place in the non-fiction lists. [Read more]