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The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire (Paperback)

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"A operatic tour-de-force." --Tilar J. Mazzeo, author of The Widow Clicquot

"An impressive feat of research, told swiftly and enthusiastically." --San Francisco Chronicle

From Vanderbilt and Rockefeller to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, America's captains of industry are paragons of entrepreneurial success, and books about business history, from The First Tycoon to The Big Short, show exemplars of capitalistic cunning and tenacity...but just as American cocktail connoisseurs can mistake Absolut, Skyy, Grey Goose, or Ketel One for the quintessential clear spirit, so too has America's vision of business history remained naive to a truth long recognized in Eastern Europe: since the time of Tsar Nicholas, both vodka and commercial success have been synonymous in Russia with one name--Smirnoff. Linda Himelstein's critically acclaimed biography of Russian vodka scion Pyotr Smirnov--a finalist for the James Beard Award, winner of the IACP and Saroyan Awards, and a BusinessWeek Best Business Book of 2009--is the sweeping story of entrepreneurship, empire, and epicurean triumph unlike anything the world has ever seen before.

Praise For…


One of “the year’s best books.”
-BusinessWeek

“The book is an impressive feat of research, told swiftly and enthusiastically.”
-San Francisco Chronicle

“Himelstein brings thorough research and strong writing to bear on a fascinating subject.”
-BusinessWeek

“Himelstein makes Russian history and even current politics come alive.”
-USA Today

“Linda Himelstein has pulled off a remarkable storytelling feat.”
-Julia Flynn Siler, author of The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty

“To follow the lives of members of the Smirnov family in this vivid account is to experience the flow of Russian history from the 1830s until the present. ”
-Professor Patricia Herlihy, Professor Emeritus, History, Brown University and author of The Alcoholic Empire

“The story of the Smirnov family is an operatic tour-de-force, and Linda Himelstein tells it with grace and passion.”
-Tilar J. Mazzeo, author of The Widow Clicquot

“An astonishing tale...”
-Miami Herald

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060855918
ISBN-10: 0060855916
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: November 30th, 2010
Pages: 384
Language: English
Series: P.S.