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MONDAY

The privatization of the former Soviet Union’s moribund state-run economy spawned a legion of rapacious Gordon Gekkovichs intent on accumulating obscene amounts of wealth as quickly as possible. In Casino Moscow: A Tale of Greed and Adventure on Capitalism’s Wildest Frontier, former Wall Street Journal staffer Matthew Brzezinski chronicles the economically devastating transition from the Soviet system to a free-market economy. Brzezinski does as good a job describing the gaudy outrages of the noviye ruskiye (new rich)—only in Moscow can you go to a club whose principal selling point is naked men cavorting in giant aquariums—as he does the cynical machinations by which they attained their new wealth. In the end, you won’t know whether to laugh at their poor taste, reconsider Marxism, or rush to Moscow before they dim the lights on the giant fish tanks. Brzezinski reads at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Michael Little)