Russell shot and directed the documentary feature film over five continents. He embedded with separatist fighters in Ukraine, the UN in Somalia and Iraq, with cattle raiders in Kenya, and street gangs in Venezuela to understand the contours of chaos that struck the world in the 2010s. He traces these modern apocalypses back to the global commodity markets, and the financial speculators who set the prices of essential goods for all of us. The film aired in France (Arte), Germany (ARD), and Sweden (SVT) in 2021.
Russell turned his investigation into a narrative non-fiction book, published by Doubleday (Penguin Random House) in the US and Weidenfeld & Nicholson (Hachette) in the UK.
Praise for PRICE WARS
'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 and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
'Combining investigative courage with forensic analysis, Price Wars is a geopolitical masterpiece bursting with bite, originality and compassion.'
— David Lammy, MP, author of Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society.
'Deeply reported and thoroughly accessible, this investigation into the far-reaching consequences of economic speculation deserves a wide readership.'
— Publishers Weekly Starred Review.
'A fresh look at some of the mostly deeply held dogmas of economics, exploding many along the way.”
'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.
'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: The Forces Uprooting Us.
'Rupert Russell's adventures into a host of modern apocalypses are retold in this thrilling page-turner. The result is an incredible synthesis that places global finance at the heart of chaos across the world.'
— Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist and author of The Lost Decade.
'Wry, objective, scary, funny: let's hope it's not all true, but that seems unlikely.'
— Griff Rhys Jones