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Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  41,427 ratings  ·  3,851 reviews
A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin's corruption.

Bill Browder's journey started on the South Side of Chicago and moved through Stanford Business School to the dog-eat-dog world of hedge fund investing in the 1990s.
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Simon Schuster (first published 2014)
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Michael But if you're as old as I am, you'd be able to remember the "widespread cheating by Russian athletes" in Olympic games in the 60s. They've always been…moreBut if you're as old as I am, you'd be able to remember the "widespread cheating by Russian athletes" in Olympic games in the 60s. They've always been about cheating to win, so it's not a Putin phenomenon.(less)
Bernadette Loesch the title on my reading list is: "Red Notice: A true story of high finance, murder and one man's fight for justice". I recommend this title. Browder…morethe title on my reading list is: "Red Notice: A true story of high finance, murder and one man's fight for justice". I recommend this title. Browder did write both books.(less)

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Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3 1/2 stars. I listened to the audio of Red Notice. It was fascinating and I have no regrets about listening to it, but there were a few things that grated on me enough to knock off a 1/2 star from what would otherwise have been a solid 4 stars. In Red Notice, Bill Browder recounts his involvement in the world of high finance in Russia, events which ultimately led to the arrest, torture and death of one of his lawyers, and which transformed Browder from manager of a multi billion dollar investme ...more
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Born into a left-wing family in America, Bill Browder attended a boarding school where he became quite rebellious and very unsettled. Not happy with his home life he made the decision to become a capitalist knowing that it would surely upset his parents. However, once he settled down with his studies he was soon accepted into Standford University and on his way to becoming everything he ever wanted to be. By becoming the largest foreign investor in Russia running his own investment firm, he went ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now this is an explosive, revealing and shocking read that had my complete attention from page one. Bill Browder's account reads like a thriller but its non fiction and is compelling reading for anyone interested in reading about High Finance, Murder and one man's fight for justice in modern Russia.
November 2009 an emancipated young lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, is led to a freezing isolation cell in a Moscow prison, handcuffed to a bedrail and beaten to death by eight police officers. His crime? To te
H Wesselius
Apr 04, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting and entertaining read. Only marred by the self righteous tone of an author. Browder can't see beyond his own perspective. After cleaning out Russia by purchasing underpriced stock and turning it around for a quick profit. Once he achieved his millions he suddenly found a conscience. My sympathy lies with the Russian activists and people who've been wronged by both the oligarchs and the western businessman.
Geza Tatrallyay
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent true account of the author's ups and downs as an investor in Putin's Russia. Along the way, he encounters brazen acts of embezzlement, theft and even murder by this lawless kleptocracy, losing his friend and lawyer Sergei Magnitsky to the agents of the 'rogue' state. A well-written gripping account; I could not put it down!
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: world
I don't have time to review this book properly. In a nutshell, I was fascinated by the first half of it - all about the author learning to become a hedge fund manager, and his experiences in Russia and the highs and the lows of that experience. These included him getting immensely tangled in the often corrupt jungle that is the Russian business world, taking on some of the oligarchs, and some of the major companies on the Russian scene, like Gazprom. At first Putin welcomed his interventions, bu ...more
L.A. Starks
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This stunningly good book is authored by a world-class trader who, when he loses a friend to imprisonment, torture, and death from Putin's regime, goes all-out--slowly, deliberately--to avenge his friend. The trader is Bill Browder, the friend is Sergei Magnitsky, and the story is a true one. This makes the book more compelling than even the best fictional thriller. Putin's lack of conscience is no act, yet Browder describes a president and a now-secretary of state who naively want to pursue a r ...more
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio-history
I was vaguely aware of this story as it related to Putin and his ban of U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans back in 2012 but never really knew the details.

The title does a very good job of breaking down the arc of the book with the first section concentrating on Browder, his schooling and how he ended up in Russia. The most fascinating part was discovering that Browder's grandfather was the leader of the American Communist Party and ran for president on the communist ticket in 1936 and
Bill Browder has a fascinating tale to tell, of his family background as the grandson of a noted Communist, of his math-whiz father and mother, of his physicist brother. He was the black sheep of the family…until he became a billionaire in his thirties by investing in undervalued Russian oil stocks. His first foray into Russia, to advise the Murmansk Trawler Fleet on privatization, must go down in the annals as a classic of West meets East. The whole story of Browder’s rise to wealth, with its m ...more
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was a complete surprise to me. I thought that perhaps it would be dry, or more likely over my head because I know so little about the world of finance. Fortunately, my fears proved unfounded; the book was very approachable and entertaining.

There are two parts to the author's story, both of which are equally involving but in different ways. The first 150 pp or so outline how Browder developed his business in Russia and he details his stunning wins and losses in a disarmingly honest and
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
It’s 2017 and we all are looking forward to seeing how “the art of the deal” as practiced by our new president works out. How often will it be involving his friend in Russia? What better time to read Bill Browder’s page turner about his years deal-making in Russia and how he barely escaped being tucked away in some Siberian gulag.

Browder recounts how he came to the financial world and how he became an expert in privatization of state-run companies in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has an excelle
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, memoirs, non-fiction
I wish "Red Notice" were a more straightforward nonfiction account rather than the the first-person memoir of Bill Browder that it is. I found the story in the last half of the book compelling and heartbreaking, and I wanted to go deeper into the lives and backgrounds of the other characters beyond Browder - Magnitsky's family, Vadim, Vladimir, Senator Cardin, the Russian officials, other Russian activists, etc. - but was instead confined to this more narrow view. Along those lines, I also wish ...more
Melania 🍒
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it

It was a wild ride reading this. For the first 40% I wanted to DNF it at every half an hour; and that’s mainly because I didn’t like Bill too much and I didn’t care for the writing style .What kept me going were the always interesting insides into the trading world. But then the sh!t hit the fan and super interesting things started to happen.

I cried for minutes while listening to this book (and I rarely do so) while gaining a deep respect for Bill. He’s definitely hi
Andrew Robins
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bill Browder, relatively early in his career, moves to Russia, to run a hedge fund investing mostly in recently "privatised" (in quote marks for a reason, as there isn't much similarity with our western understanding of that process) state industries.

I'll be totally honest and say that, initially, I found myself worrying that this book was actually going to be an extended criticism of wrongdoing by those who profited from the truly unforgiveable privatisation process in Russia, by so
Bill Browder has made a name for himself for two reasons: he's made lots of money based on the buying and selling of Russian company voucher stock and he was the main force behind the Magnitsky Act. passed in 2012 against human rights violators in Russia.

Some things about Browder
- he renounced his US citizenship in 1998 because he did not want to pay foreign taxes
- he found and made money on undervalued Russian stock
- he uncovered serious corruption within the Russi
Red Notice is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read in a long time. I could not put it down. It is fast paced, riveting, suspenseful, and a powerful indictment of the authoritarian regime that is in power today in Russia. And it is also an autobiography.

Bill Browder writes about his early years as the grandson of the leader of the American Communist Party. His mother, father, and brother were all driven to excel in their professions and in school. Bill, on the other hand, was a

If Bill Browder's expose isn't on your to read list, it should be. Whether or not you're business savvy - or globally astute, a non-fiction enthusiast, culturally aware, or a political aficionado - is rather a moot point; if you believe in impartial justice, integrity, and human rights - for all - this book is a must read.

"When the Russian government turns on you, it doesn't do so mildly - it does so with extreme prejudice."

Written with unsparing honesty
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hard book to read! Bill Browder is the ultimate intrepid person. There are more details in his mind within an hour- then most people seem to use within a month. No, more than 2 months. And you hear them all here. For years, and years of travel, inquiry, investing, association for knowledge.

He tells his true life experiences from the personal to the business, in immense detail. How he starts working as an investor. How he is "fired". How he is rehired. How he quits and starts his own
Brad Feld
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
In the past 24 hours I’ve read a must read. Bill Browder’s Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It reads like a John le Carré novel, except it is non-fiction. It starts out as the autobiography of Bill Browder and his creation of a massively successful hedge fund (Hermitage Capital Management) that was one of the first non-Russian investors in Russia in the mid to late 1990s. It then shifted into an incred ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a riveting story of greed and corruption in Putin's Russia. Bill Browder's story began in the late 90's when he went to Russia to take advantage of the undervalued stock of companies that had just gone private. After making millions for his hedge fund company (greed here, too), he pulled his money out of Russia. This is when the fallout began.

Browder exposed the criminal activity of Putin and the Russian oligarchs and retaliatory measures were taken. Lies, torture and the dea
Doug Cornelius
Russian corruption from a financial and personal view

There is a great story in here. Clearly, Mr. Browder has encountered the financial highs and corruption lows of Russia as the country emerged from communism to the capitalist dream of privatization and dropped into the abyss of a totalitarian oligarchy.

As gifted as Mr. Browser is as a humanitarian and financier, it's nearly impossible to write an enjoyable autobiography. It's too personal and too biased. I kept imagining how Michael Lewi
Cheeky Cher
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub, memoir-bio
3 stars - It was good.

A fascinating story that starts off as a tale of financial corruption and ends with a cry for human rights. You are left questioning the illusion that Russia is becoming a progressive and democratic nation.

Browder's story also shines an unflattering light on a few US politicians (here's looking at you, Kerry) and overall fueled my dislike for big government.

There were editing issues (missing or extra words) and you can tell the author didn't major in literature, but i
David Quinn
The story itself is very good, the problem here is the telling of that story.

From the very little I know of Bill Browder he seems like a good guy, very bright, excellent businessman, principled, brave, loyal, gives very good interviews, but not a talented writer. (There’s a very good 60 Minutes segment on the story along with several YouTube videos produced by Bill Browder that are worth seeing.) If this book had been written by a professional writer uninvolved with the events of the
Tanja Berg
The content is important, since not all might be aware of what a lawless country Russia truly is. However, the author failed to engage me and I spent most of the book wishing it was over. The core message: don't do business in Russia and don't oppose the state or it will end badly for you. Putin's enemies end up dead in "accidents".
Megan Edwards
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rarely has a book gripped me like this. I didn't want to do anything else but read it. It is utterly mesmerizing. I loved it, even though I'm not great at understanding financial concepts (the stock market is a totally foreign place to me), but Browder does a good job of explaining things in layman's terms. This reads like the very best thriller stories, but the catch is, it's real. It makes me want to read everything I can get my hands on about Putin and the corruption in his government and Rus ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading i feel little more proud being Indian, i used to think India is quite corrupt but now i feel No country as corrupt as Russia.

Red Notice is a memoir, engrossing tale, ugly truth of Putin regime, fight against justice, corruption, system, politics,Quite insightful about Russia.

Red notice started with brief introduction about Bill Browder, starting from College, alma mater, falling in love, marriage, divorce, again love though not much time has been invested into personal life. The
Brian Yahn
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Bill Browder expertly tells the fateful tale of making a billion dollars, his run-in with the corrupt Russian government, and the torture and murder of his lawyer, Sergei Magnistky -- whom the Magnitsky Act is named after.

It's paced perfectly and reads like a Dan Brown legal thriller.

Maybe because I wasn't alive during the fall of the Soviet Union and the privitization of the Russian economy -- I found the first act of the book completely enthralling. The amount of theft
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, biography
True story of the first investor in grossly undervalued Russian companies, who makes enormous returns for himself and his partners, but antagonized Russian oligarchs without much thought about the risks to himself, his family, his employees and agents. Then, the unthinkable happens, and Bill Browder has a new mission: justice and retribution. Non-fiction that seems too incredible to be true.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
“Red Notice” is author Bill Browder’s engrossing memoir about his amazing career as an investor in Russia. Recall the iron curtain came down in the early 1990’s making Eastern Europe an unexplored financial mecca for investors. Browder decided to gamble his financial life by figuring out Russian businesses and investing in them.

His career started working with financial pariahs such as Robert Maxwell and Salomon Brothers at the beginning of his career. The reader is provided insights
Sue K H
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great story about Bill Browder's life and how he came to form his company Hermitage Capital Management, whose business was to invest primarily in Russia, for for some of the most wealthy people in the world. His story eventually turns into an international thriller but with real people's lives at stake.

I had mixed emotions as I was reading this. It was an important story but it bothered me that all the trouble started because of Bill Browder's greed. His whole business was set up to t
Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
A red notice is an alert issued by Interpol that notifies countries that the person named is wanted by a member country. Most countries honor the red notices, so it is almost like a warrant to extradite. Bill Browder, a manager of a hedge fund that was based in Russia, found himself first banned from Russia, then the subject of a red notice. Only a few years before the red notice was issued, Browder was on top of the world, his hedge fund that specialized in Russian energy companies increasing i ...more
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'I was introduced to Trump by Roy Cohn', says Roger Stone. The
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"This is Russia today. A stuffy room presided over by a corrupt judge, policed by unthinking guards, with lawyers who are there just to give the appearance of a real trial, and with no defendant in the cage. A place where lies reign supreme. A place where two and two is five, white is still black, and up is still down. A place where convictions are certain, and guilt is a given. Where a foreigner can be convicted in absentia of crimes he did not commit. A place where an innocent man who was murd ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, russia
Reads more like an episode of House of Cards than a book about finance.

I would advise Browder to re-evaluate how he views women, particularly women he interacts with professionally. All the women in his book are described almost exclusively by how physically attractive they are to him, e.g., beautiful, pretty, "leggy". Personally, the most offensive instance was his description of Chrystia Freeland, then Financial Times reporter, now the current Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs. He describe
Christine Boyer
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Financial types who can overlook sloppy writing
I think I learned a couple of things about myself - first, maybe the "memoir" genre isn't for me? Second, being an AUTHOR does not make one a WRITER.

Oh my. If EVER a person needed to hire someone to write their story, it was this guy, Bill Browder! This story was so interesting and topical to today's issues with regard to Russia and Putin. It is a story everyone should know about the continued corruption and human rights abuses in Russia. I found the tale fascinating.

Христо Блажев
Руските истории никога нямат щастлив край:

Със сигурност “Заповед за арест” на Бил Браудър е една от най-смайващите книги, които съм чел някога. Едно на ръка, че се чете наистина като трилър, макар да е документална. По своята същност тя е е нещо средно между “Зимата идва” на Гари Каспаров и “Никой не ме чу” на Хари Маркополос: разкриване на мащабна финансова измама, но в пределите на безпределно корумпираната Путинска Русия. Там, където полицаи присвояват чужди фирми, осигуряват си мил
Wanda DeHaven Pyle
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Red Notice provides fascinating insight into the world of hedge fund management in the eastern bloc countries. It tells the story of Hermitage Capital, a hedge fund which at one time was the largest foreign investor in Russia. The story is set in Post-Soviet Russia at a time when the country had developed into a kleptocracy. People in the government and those with the necessary connections were stripping the assets from the communist state at fire sale prices. Some of the assets, like the energy ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
It started out with an unlikeable character ("I'm sorry about that shady share dilution, but you invested in Russia because it was the wild west) who makes incredibly good as he takes on the Russian state.

Half-decent writing, but a super decent story that's hard to put down, this is a tale that really should end any illusions we have that Russia is slowly moving towards becoming a modern, civilized country. It's kind of like the American South. Some very pleasant people with superb manners
Neil Fox
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
An oft-quoted citation of Churchill's that " Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma" normally omits the context and ending of Churchill's actual saying which states that the key to unlocking the great riddle is to have an understanding of where Russian self-interest lies, for Russia will always act in its own self-interest. In the waning years of Tsar Nicolas ll that self-interest was self-preservation through focus on external invented enemies. Under Stalin, the self-interest ...more
Mal Warwick
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Even if you follow international news only casually, you’re likely to be aware that Putin’s Russia is a kleptocracy. The country is effectively governed by fewer than two dozen oligarchs. Some, including President Vladimir Putin himself, hold government office. Others are private “bankers” and “businessmen.” Together, they have looted hundreds of billions of dollars, plundering Russia’s oil and gas reserves and buying up government enterprises at pennies on the dollar in a corrupt process of pri ...more
Brandon Forsyth
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I was going to go with something snappy like, "The wolf of Wall Street swims with sharks and finds out he's chicken," but this story actually ended up moving me by the end. I will echo the thought that the narrative is great but that the writing is only decent (if he described one more ally as attractive and another villain as stooped and ugly, I was going to call in the Disney animators for the eventual film). It's a fascinating look at how corrupt the Russian system is, and a passionate, if no ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gelungener Einblick in die Transformation vom Kommunismus in die Oligarchie, der jegliche Illusionen über das Putin-Russland erbarmungslos demoliert, aber auch die Heuchelei der der Obama-Administration in Menschrechtsfragen bloß stellt, Hillary Clinton kommt dabei, schlecht John Kerry noch schlechter weg. Etliche extrem ungeschickte grammatikalische Wendungen, Okay, der Autor ist Investment Banker, der es während seiner 15 Jahre in Russland nicht mal für nötig gehalten hat, die Landessprache zu ...more
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
The most interesting part of the book was his initial effort to get money to start the fund & how several rich people wanted half the business with no risk for themselves.

Then the part about how he identified companies that had valuable assets and could be bought at 1¢
on the dollar.

The rest of the book is sickening, Browder is just another wall street criminal who sucked a billion dollars out of the Russian economy while doing nothing of value.

He did
Elizabeth Theiss
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
Bill Browder, a Stanford MBA who started the one-time largest investment fund in Russia, tells a compelling story of corruption, collusion, and murder in Putin’s Russia. At the heart of the story is the arrest and murder of Sergei Magnitsky, the accountant who produced evidence of a series of corruption schemes that benefited Russian oligarchs, the Russian mafia, and public officials.

Browder’s involvement in ferreting out corruption schemes began as a matter of self-interest. As the executive o
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Bill Browder, founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005. Since 2009, when his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was murdered in prison after uncovering a $230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials, Browder has been leading a campaign to expose Russia’s endemic corruption and human rights abuses. Before founding Hermitage, Browder ...more
“Seventy years of communism had destroyed the work ethic of an entire nation. Millions of Russians had been sent to the gulags for showing the slightest hint of personal initiative. The Soviets severely penalized independent thinkers, so the natural self-preservation reaction was to do as little as possible and hope that nobody would notice you.” 21 likes
“The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they sleep at night.” 12 likes
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