TitleVodka Politics
AuthorMark Lawrence Schrad
ImprintMark Lawrence Schrad Ltd
Sales rank4.5


Russia is famous for its vodka, and its culture of extreme intoxication But just as vodka is central to the lives of many Russians, it is also central to understanding Russian history and politics.In Vodka Politics, Mark Lawrence Schrad argues that debilitating societal alcoholism is not hard wired into Russians genetic code, but rather their autocratic political system, which has long wielded vodka as a tool of statecraft Through a series of historical investigations stretching from Ivan the Terrible through Vladimir Putin, Vodka Politics presents the secret history of the Russian state itself a history that is drenched in liquor Scrutinizing rather than dismissing the role of alcohol in Russian politics yields a nuanced understanding of Russian history itself from palace intrigues under the tsars to the drunken antics of Soviet and post Soviet leadership, vodka is there in abundance.Beyond vivid anecdotes, Schrad scours original documents and archival evidence to answer provocative historical questions How have Russia s rulers used alcohol to solidify their autocratic rule What role did alcohol play in tsarist coups Was Nicholas II s ill fated prohibition a catalyst for the Bolshevik Revolution Could the Soviet Union have become a world power without liquor How did vodka politics contribute to the collapse of both communism and public health in the 1990s How can the Kremlin overcome vodka s hurdles to produce greater social well being, prosperity, and democracy into the future Viewing Russian history through the bottom of the vodka bottle helps us to understand why the liquor question remains important to Russian high politics even today almost a century after the issue had been put to bed in most every other modern state Indeed, recognizing and confronting vodka s devastating political legacies may be the greatest political challenge for this generation of Russia s leadership, as well as the next.



Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

Wide ranging, anecdotal, well written, but not entirely convincing history of the relationship between vodka and the Russian state Schrad s argument is that a series of Russian autocracies used vodka to keep the people constantly drunk, and yet profited from it due to tax collection or state ownersh... (Sign in to see more)


Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

On Stalin s style of keeping his inner circle in a drunken stupor Either in the Kremlin or at Stalin s dacha, political decisions were made over drinking games and toasts of Russian vodka, Crimean champagne, Armenian brandy, and Georgian wine, beginning with the late evening dinner and ending only w... (Sign in to see more)

Margaret Sankey

Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

Americans associate taverns and alcohol with rebelliousness and freedom In Russia, from the earliest distillation, alcohol was a tool of the Muscovite state to generate revenue and control the population tavern keepers were informers, Orthodox clergy had to barter in vodka to get things done and rul... (Sign in to see more)

John M.

Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

I received a copy from the author as part of a Goodreads Giveaway After reading this book, one might be led to believe that for the last few centuries, Russia has been ruled by shamelessly inebriated and despotic rulers, lording over an equally inebriated populace hurled into poverty, starvation, an... (Sign in to see more)


Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

I was excited and surprised to win a copy of this book on Goodreads I don t read much non fiction, but the history of Russia and the Soviet Union is a topic I am particularly interested in And this book made for a very compelling read Schrad puts forward a very credible argument for his thesis that ... (Sign in to see more)


Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

Available as an 18 plus hour audio download, and well worth your time on the treadmill or driving to work, now that we are as a nation preparing to cuddle up to the Russians.Thesis at audiobook chapter 8, time 10 15 I argue that the widespread problematic drinking habits of today are actually the pr... (Sign in to see more)

Luke Meehan

Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

Superb modern history from a public policy perspective Firstly, Schrad delivers a readable and coherent history of medieval to modern Russia, albeit through the ubiquitous lens of vodka Secondly, Schrad attempts to re analyse the causal drift of modern Russian history as some function of policy enco... (Sign in to see more)

Paul Michael

Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

Utterly fascinating


Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

Interesting view on a highly controversial country Great book for any reader

Adam Orford

Vodka Politics By Mark Lawrence Schrad

As a recovering alcoholic, I know how tetchy people can get about pointing to alcohol as a causal or contributing factor to any given problem It is likely to trigger a diverse range of defensive and justificatory responses from anybody within earshot Now, imagine trying to do this not in the context... (Sign in to see more)

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