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Publisher's Summary

With the recent indictments of Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, and George Papadopoulos, Russia expert Luke Harding lays out the most in-depth look to date at the Trump campaign's dealings with Russia. Beginning with a meeting with Christopher Steele, the man behind the shattering dossier that first brought the allegations to light, Harding probes the histories of key Russian and American players with striking clarity and insight. In a thrilling, fast-paced narrative, Harding exposes the disquieting details of the Trump-Russia story - a saga so huge it involves international espionage, offshore banks, sketchy real estate deals, mobsters, money laundering, disappeared dissidents, computer hacking, and the most shocking election in American history.

©2017 Luke Harding (P)2017 Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

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Superior to 'Fire/Fury' in Depth & in Making Case


'Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived.' --Machiavelli

'Since the first day I took office, all you hear is the phony Democrat excuse for losing the election, Russia, Russia, Russia....'
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Nov. 26, 2017

''...'collusion,' which doesn't exist. The Dems are using this terrible (and bad for our country) Witch Hunt for evil politics'' Id.

'Who ya gonna believe: me or your own eyes?' Chico Marx


Saying it ain't so is no defense in light of all proof to date. [see legal definition of ipse dixit]. No matter how many times or how loudly you say it. An old saying in the legal profession, which you may well have heard before, goes, 'If the facts are on your side, hammer on the facts. If the law's for you, hit on the law. If neither, pound on the table.'

The last doesn't usually work. Humans are way too smart to fall for it. Nonetheless we might do so when it serves our duty to zealously represent a client. So, I can't really blame Trump for pounding on the table repeatedly. There isn't much else he can do as the evidence mounts of not only collusion between his campaign staff and the Russian government but of his repeated attempts to obstruct the investigation.

If you want to know the probable path down which the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation will go, you MUST read this book. You will understand, as one example, the relevance and materiality of POTUS Trump’s financials which he has, to date, adamantly refused to make public.

Sad to say: this will be a Dark chapter in U.S. history and if the charges are proven (not even considering what is uncovered by the ongoing investigation), they will likely lead to articles of impeachment by a Republican-led House and removal upon conviction by a Republican-led Senate.

This anti-Kremlin Republican read this book, which succinctly gathers and brilliantly organizes reports and credible evidence proffered to date and adds reliable materials to make a case that is Absolutely Damning, and I am even further shocked and dismayed by the incredulities of those who willfully disregard the current administration's love affair with Vladimir Putin and all the signs pointing to Russia's involvement in helping to elect a President of the United States.

I wonder what their grandparents and great-grandparents would have to say about communist Russia's infiltrations into our political system. And would they be angrier with Russia than they'd be ashamed of their descendants’ willful blindness to the threats imposed upon our shining democracy?

If these ties/links are proven by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Watergate will seem, by comparison, like it was a trial on jaywalking charges.

Written by first foreign journalist to be expelled from Russia since the end of the Cold War due to his unflattering coverage of Russia, including stories on sources of Vladimir Putin's wealth and Putin's knowledge of the London assassination of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Philo
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 11-24-17

Good summation, but gaps, patched with spin

This offering rolls up the whole narrative against Trump end to end, and is very timely in recent details (up to the first wave of special counsel indictments). I suppose a person who religiously read New York Times, Washington Post and maybe Guardian would know everything here (and probably agree with the tilt). In case the reader-listener does not know what should be thought about all this, the author is always an inch away with suggestions, not always explicitly flagged as such. In the journalistic manner, some straw person is summoned onstage (often not identified, or not clearly) to ask the pregnant question, the inference or supposition the slower mind ought to get, to hold up the cue card and make it quite plain. But as a first draft of history, plenty of this, I think, will hold up, while some of the guesswork will not be substantiated. An awful lot of the truth rests outside our jurisdiction, and doubtless a cottage industry will flood us with books over coming years claiming essentially anything the antic human mind could cook up, as with JFK, Watergate, et cetera. Ralph Lister as narrator is superb as always.
All the global intelligence-related books I've read lately have been useful, but require swimming upstream sentence by sentence through a tide of polemic spin. One has to wade through the ads, so to speak, to get to the meat of things, and all this is not always clearly labeled (though the title gives a pretty ringing clue). It is not too hard, and is worth the effort. There are plenty of facts here, names and dates and places and conversations, plenty to be concerned about, but for me, not a full closing of the sale, so to speak. We await Mr. Mueller, perhaps, for that. The take-away for me now is that Trump and entourage were very Russian-friendly, excessively, some corruptly so, some naively, they really were played, by some seriously crooked people, from a classic USA point of view of legitimacy. But over here, the constitutional-institutional-open system strength of the USA system has held, and the bad actors with whatever motives and to whatever degree have already been largely thwarted, for now. The campaign to hook our leaders up a little too cosily with deeply questionable Russians at high levels was blunted. Many offshore actors (and onshore) are still getting away with banking crimes and money laundering and so forth to a troubling degree, but this particular campaign, clever as it was fell flat. (That doesn't mean the psy-conflict in social media and so on will end -- it is only beginning. This was the first big salvo at the retail cultural level). Trump's friendliness to that general lot of people (and defense of them, and profiting from them, and the lack of public outrage at this) disturbs me, as does their seepage into this society generally, but he is the most self-defeating player I've seen. He's no Putin. I can't think of any medium, game or setting in which Putin wouldn't beat the tar out of him, blindfolded. It's a strange cross of ludicrous-dangerous, but for now I'm sleeping OK. This book, while it brought no big smoking gun I hadn't seen, did tie the story together quite well. Around the ninth hour through the end it really picks up and pulls things together.
Fun factoid: one prominent Russian financier in this book who bought a mansion from Trump at (some would say) an inflated price, was the recent seller of the Da Vinci painting for purportedly $400 million plus. Nothing dodgy there, right? Factually, I can't say . . . .

51 of 67 people found this review helpful

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Well-Researched and Convincing

The story is extremely compelling and the integration of parallel plot lines and facts is phenomenal. There were moments while listening to the audiobook when I couldn’t easily discern whether the things being stated as fact were proven or surmised by the author. Much of the explanations and linking of events are based on the unsubstantiated allegations contained in the Steele dossier taking them for granted as true. To this effect Harding does a great job at selling the dossier as largely true, but there is some “grain of salt” or “let’s wait and see” material in here. After reading this book I am more inclined to share Harding’s dire views of the Trump administration and believe the general narrative laid out in Steele’s research. Can’t wait to see how close this book came to nailing it.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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A must read for everyone who cares about America

A fantastic book that is well researched and connects the dots. If President Trump wants to put Russia behind him, he could start by releasing his tax returns. He won't of course and this book explains why. Read it and pass it along.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Excellent... It all makes sense now.

Have you listened to any of Ralph Lister’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Ralph Lister does an incredible job, probably one of the best performance I've heard on Audible.

Any additional comments?

This book explains so well the roles of all the players on Trump's election team and his White House staff had in connection with Russian's involvement/manipulation of the 2016 election and beyond. You see how the genesis of it all really goes back to the 1980s. Trump is a traitor, plain and simple. He's compromised. So obvious. This book is like listening to a spy/espionage novel. Ralph Lister's performance brings this book to life.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Excellent - Better than Most Audiobook

This is a very good book. I read and listen to science and physics, science fiction, historical fiction and technology. I keep up with the news with keen interest. This book by Luke Harding is well researched and written. The narration is good. I highly recommend this audiobook.

23 of 36 people found this review helpful

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a must read for all Americans

I thought I was aware of the goings on in politics but this book brought the bigger picture to light. I had no clue how big this mess is. I pray our democracy survives

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Fact or Fiction

If you want someone to rattle off a bunch of events that may or may not have happened, and then tell you how you should think about them, this is a book for you. Now that we have more information about the source of most of his information, the author should do the honorable thing and write a retraction. Maybe better yet, give us all our money back.

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Very Timely

This book made me feel better about the state of the world. Proves collusion in my mind.

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Brilliant expose

Well written, excellent narration. I hope there will be a sequel as developments continue . I listened to this twice ass the detail is so rich. So much money, I wonder what will happen to it all.