The fall of the Communist regime in the USSR and Russia's search for a democratic and prosperous market-based future is one of the most compelling episodes of the end of the twentieth century. A central part in this drama is being played by political elites. These essays, written by some of the leading scholars in the field, analyse various aspects of the role being played by elites and leaders in Russian politics. Among the issues dealt with are: the origins of the Russian elites, including the issue of continuity with the Soviet past; the relationship between political and economic elites; the means taken by elites to structure politics and their relations; the dynamic of elite politics, and the nature of post-communism. These essays deal with many of the crucial questions facing Russia today.