Dr. Russell is a sociologist, writer, and filmmaker whose work exposes the hidden complexity of our disorderly world. His book Price Wars: How the Commodity Markets Made Our Chaotic World was published by Doubleday at Penguin Random House to critical acclaim. He has traced silent butterfly effects across five continents, twenty countries, and four war zones. His work shows how their power comes from the intricate connections between the financial markets and commodity supply chains, climate shocks and authoritarian militarism, migration waves and populist insurgencies.
Dr. Russell has a PhD and MA in Sociology from Harvard University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. He received a Double Starred First BA in the Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University, Jesus College, where he graduated top of his class. He has been interviewed as an expert on commodities and geopolitics by The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Guardian, The New Republic, The Intercept, The Huffington Post, Jacobin, CBC, among many others.
An open member of the LBGTQ+ community, Russell has nevertheless reported from some of the world’s most homophobic countries, many of which were also war zones. He has spoken about the unique challenges diverse journalists face, and the necessity of such reporting. He has also written about how to succeed in academia and write a book with dyslexia, which he was diagnosed with at age 8.
“Price Wars is a totally original and stimulating read, part war zone reportage, part economic history, and buzzing with ideas about the way markets work that will change your understanding of the world we live in.”
Liaquat Ahamed, author of Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
“In Price Wars, Rupert Russell searches for chaos and finds the butterfly effect of volatile prices operating everywhere. His stories are vivid and his analysis airtight. In his hands, price becomes quantum: we can know its present value or trend, but not both. Is our civilization slowly boiling, or can we simplify our hyper-complexity and tame the chaos we have unleashed through integrated financial markets? This fine book provides compelling answers."
Dr. Parag Khanna, author of Connectography and Move
“One of the most important books of our time.”
Ryan Grim, D.C. Bureau Chief at The Intercept
“An illuminating, sobering and endlessly fascinating look at the root causes and hidden connections between financial markets and some of the developing world’s most wrenching crises. Fearlessly reported from conflict zones from separatist Ukrainian provinces to the Middle East, Russell compellingly draws a line between commodity manipulation on Wall Street and the chaos that fuels extremism and violence.”
Joby Warrick, author of Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
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