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Download The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire (Unabridged), by Linda Himelstein
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (116 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Linda Himelstein Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN:
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Born in a Russian village in 1831, Pyotr Smirnov relied on vodka to turn a life of scarcity and anonymity into one of immense wealth and international recognition. Starting from the back rooms and side streets of 19th-century Moscow, Smirnov exploited brilliant grassroots marketing strategies to popularize his products and ensconce his brand in the thirsts and imaginations of drinkers around the world. His vodka would be gulped in the taverns of Russia and Europe, be praised with accolades at World's Fairs, and become a staple on the tables of tsars. But his improbable ascent would be halted by the chaos of the Bolshevik Revolution, and only a bizarre set of coincidences, including an incredible prison escape by one of Smirnov's sons in 1919, would prevent Smirnov's legacy from fading into obscurity.

Set against a backdrop of political and ideological currents that would determine the course of global events, The King of Vodka is much more than a biography of a humble serf who rose to create one of the most celebrated business empires the world has ever known. It is a work of sweeping narrative history on an epic scale.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holly Mitchell | 2/10/2014

    " Though not particularly well-written, it's an easy read and a quick brush-up on Russian history for those who want to talk about dead people at parties. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 1/14/2014

    " Good Russian biography and history, especially related to.....vodka. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony | 1/10/2014

    " a compelling story about the rise of the Smirnov vodka empire amidst the turmoil of revolutionary russia. fascinating with much detail and history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stefanie | 1/9/2014

    " compelling review of russia's affair with vodka, including government monopolies and temperance/prohibition initiatives. pyotry a smirnov was an inspirational character and marketing genius. his sons were, ultimately, disappointments to his legacy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meg | 12/7/2013

    " Fascinating family and book. Learned so much about pre- and post-revolutionary Russia, now feel compelled to only drink Smirnoff. Only complaint: no photos; would have loved to see the family and old advertisements. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Josh | 8/22/2013

    " Interesting read, too journalistic of writing style to really enjoy though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike Graber | 8/3/2013

    " Just okay, a little more technical in spots and quick to "guess" at characters feelings at the time. But considering the lack of resources of available documentation, no doubt well researched and author's guess is as good as any. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian Onufrychuk | 7/21/2013

    " Interesting look at the history of the Smirnoff family and brand. You get family history, industry history, Russian political history, and a good story all in one. Slow at times, but an interesting read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam | 7/13/2013

    " this history of vodka and this epic family was interesting to learn, but it was pretty horribly written "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 12/6/2012

    " Readable and informative. Interesting tidbits of economic history served up in a way that people who twitch at hints of economic discussion can digest readily. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 10/7/2012

    " Pretty good, but at times dry. Kind if ironic for a book about alcohol. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 9/9/2012

    " A good, not great, book. Lots of interesting information about both the Smirnov family, Russia and its move from the tsars to communism to glasnost. Worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsy | 9/5/2012

    " Fascinating 19th century Russian history along with the history of the smirnov vodka business. My friend Linda from college is the author too - a bonus! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 8/2/2012

    " The story is interesting, but this could have used a better editor. I find myself thinking "vary your sentence structures!" as I read. Sigh. Can't get the English teacher out of me. I'm only a few chapters into this at the moment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie-lee Brayley | 12/7/2011

    " Very interesting read. I found there to be a lot of hearsay at the beginning of the book which disappointed a bit. "

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