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August 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

An Evening with David Junk and Douglas Markowitz


Books & Books


August 1
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
+ Google Map


The Books & Books Literary Foundation presents…


in conversation with

Douglas Markowitz


Rockin’ the Kremlin: My Incredible True Story of Gangsters, Oligarchs, and Pop Stars in Putin’s Russia

(Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, $40)

Thursday, August 1, 7 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables


The Books & Books Literary Foundation is proud to present an evening with David Junk discussing Rockin’ the Kremlin: My Incredible True Story of Gangsters, Oligarchs, and Pop Stars in Putin’s Russia (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, $40). He will be in conversation with Douglas Markowitz.

This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.

About the Book:

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia opened its borders, and Russian audiences were hungry for Western popular music and the values it espoused. David Junk was one of the first idealistic, young Americans to seize this opportunity.

Rockin’ the Kremlin is the thrilling true story of how David became the first CEO of Universal Music Russia and built impactful cultural bridges with music–but also how that would all shatter with the rise of Vladimir Putin and invasions of Ukraine. There was no proper music industry in the USSR, and creating a modern music industry in Russia would be far more challenging than anyone had anticipated. David assembled a team of young and talented Russians, and they navigated a terrain filled with political chaos, organized crime, powerful oligarchs, bombings, and violence–with cultural clashes tinting many aspects. They captivated millions by bringing superstar acts to Russia for the first time ever, including Metallica, Mariah Carey, Sting, Eminem, and Enrique Iglesias, while developing local talent such as Alsou and t.A.T.u.–Russia’s greatest selling pop act of all time. Eventually, David would even build a music industry in Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe.

While Russia’s descent into authoritarianism and two invasions of Ukraine have tarnished this, the industry that David shepherded has birthed a newer generation of Russian musicians who are speaking out against the war and Putin. Filled with unique insights as well as gripping–and sometimes humorous–stories, this book reveals how it all happened.


About the Author:

David Junk was the first CEO of Universal Music in Moscow, and for a decade he promoted international artists in Russia, including stars like Mariah Carey, Elton John, U2, Sting, and Bon Jovi. He also signed many Russian artists to Universal, including t.A.T.u and Alsou. He was vice-president Eastern Europe at Universal Music in 2003, opened the first Universal Music office in Kyiv, Ukraine, and developed music reality shows for Ukrainian TV. He is a founding member of the Russian Music Industry Association and the US Ambassadors Task Force on Intellectual Property Rights.

About the Moderator:

Douglas Markowitz is a writer and journalist covering art, music, film, travel, and other topics. His work has appeared in Resident AdvisorHyperallergicMiami New Times, Grammy.com, the Miami Herald, the Sun SentinelBurnaway, and many other publications. He currently contributes to the Miami New Times as film and art critic and previously served as culture editor at the Phoenix New Times. He graduated with honors from the University of North Florida (B.S. in Communication) in 2017 and attended Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan on foreign exchange in 2016. He holds Canadian citizenship through his father, who was born and raised in Montreal. In 2023 he was named a finalist for the Esserman-Knight Journalism Awards.