The article is an overview two books devoted on economic sanctions. Both books were edited by the famous Russian economist R. M. Nureev. These works are very different: the first is a conceptual criticism of Russian economic policy and the current world order, the second is devoted to evaluation of the effectiveness sanctions both against Russia in general and its individual sectors.At the base of the «Expectations and Reality» lies the world-system approach of I. Wallerstein, in which the Russian economy appears to be inscribed in the «semiperiphery» and is exploited by the countries of the world's «core». Countries of the West as a recipient of benefits are interested in preserving the raw orientation of the Russian economy. A logical response from the semi-periphery countries should be protectionism and import substitution. Russia's entrance to the WTO and trade liberalization took place under the pressure of global financial corporations. The current sanctions and the breaking of the existing ties prove the falsity of the policy of free trade conducted by the Russian governments. The work «Costs and Benefits» uses a positivistic treatment, there is not a normative model of an ideally functioning economy. It presents a large list of government measures characterizing the efforts to import substitution, an analysis of the preliminary results of the economic policy measures taken. Of particular interest is the study of the functioning of sectors that have been «under sanctions and counter-sanctions»: oil and gas, defense, banking, agro-industrial sectors. The consequences of the outbreak of the «trade war» are contradictory: some Russian enterprises are developing successfully, but for others, using imported technologies and components, hard times have come.The presented works vividly characterize the existing discourses of the domestic economic science and are of great interest both from the point of view of evaluations of the causes and consequences of sanctions, as well as ways of describing reality. A good tone is the criticism of the actions of the Russian government from the standpoint of economic dirigisme and the social state. At the same time, disproportions between income growth and labor productivity in the domestic economy are ignored.