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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times Best Seller

"The story Unger weaves with those earlier accounts and his original reporting is fresh, illuminating and more alarming than the intelligence channel described in the Steele dossier." (The Washington Post)

House of Trump, House of Putin offers the first comprehensive investigation into the decades-long relationship among Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the Russian Mafia that ultimately helped win Trump the White House.

It is a chilling story that begins in the 1970s, when Trump made his first splash in the booming, money-drenched world of New York real estate, and ends with Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States. That moment was the culmination of Vladimir Putin’s long mission to undermine Western democracy, a mission that he and his hand-selected group of oligarchs and Mafia kingpins had ensnared Trump in, starting more than 20 years ago with the massive bailout of a string of sensational Trump hotel and casino failures in Atlantic City. This book confirms the most incredible American paranoias about Russian malevolence. 

To most, it will be a hair-raising revelation that the Cold War did not end in 1991 - that it merely evolved, with Trump’s apartments offering the perfect vehicle for billions of dollars to leave the collapsing Soviet Union. In House of Trump, House of Putin, Craig Unger methodically traces the deep-rooted alliance between the highest echelons of American political operatives and the biggest players in the frightening underworld of the Russian Mafia. He traces Donald Trump’s sordid ascent from foundering real estate tycoon to leader of the free world. He traces Russia’s phoenix-like rise from the ashes of the post-Cold War Soviet Union as well as its ceaseless covert efforts to retaliate against the West and reclaim its status as a global superpower. 

Without Trump, Russia would have lacked a key component in its attempts to return to imperial greatness. Without Russia, Trump would not be president. This essential audiobook is crucial to understanding the real powers at play in the shadows of today’s world.

The appearance of key figures in this book - Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and Felix Sater to name a few - will ring with haunting significance as Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's alleged collusion with Russia closes in on the truth.

©2018 Craig Unger (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Understanding Trump through his shady roots

I have never written a review before, but I think this book provides incredible insight into the amoral world of Donald Trump, and how he grew up and came of age surrounded by people who were not the choirboys of this world. The elaborate connections between the President and such a parade of wrong-dealing mobsters and Mafia-types is very well documented by Unger, at least that is what I have read. Since I am listening to the book, I do not have access to any sourcing which is not read by the narrator, but if half of it is true it explains a lot about the President's behavior and view of the world.
Notably characters in the current White House narrative, like Kellyanne Conway, are referenced in terms of her grandfather who was an underworld figure. Don McGahn, is the nephew of a significant mover and shaker on the Jersey shore. He is not portrayed as a monster, but he is the man you need on your side if you want to build casinos in Atlantic City. His other uncle is a state legislator (shades of Whitey and Billy Bulger).
The Felix Sater and Michael Cohen's relationship, and their ties to shady dealings is eye-opening. The only reason Sater is not in jail is because of his cooperation with federal agencies. It is clear that the author feels that the Russians have been in bed with Trump, and vice versa, for so many years that it does not seem surprising that Don jr. would take the meeting in Trump Tower without thinking much about its unlawful aspects.
The "House of Putin" aspect of the book is similarly eye-opening. His rise to power and his strong grasp on it to this day are so similar, with such shady doings, that the tow are a match for each other. "I don't know any Russians" Trump says - yeah!?!?!
A must read for those interested in understanding the whole Trump phenomenon and what the Mueller investigation knows and has not yet disclosed.

44 of 56 people found this review helpful

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You Are The Company You Keep

The House Of Trump The House Of Putin takes the listener/reader on a provocative journey that spans, 4 decades. . . From the Beginning with DJT's grandfather and his dad, the elder Fred Trump who allegedly, demolished and destroyed property in 1966 Brooklyn, N.Y. at Coney Islands', Steeplechase Park during a party with friends because he couldn't get around the Zoning Laws at the time. . . Needless to say, DJT's behavior is a, "chip off the old block". . . Gangsterism, most importantly is the Creed. . . The president received further grooming and tutelage in 1987, with an all expense-paid trip to Russia. The author, Craig Unger, is a highly respected journalist who's research garnered immediate gratification from this listener. And the narrator is very entertaining as well. He provides inflections that are noteworthy, allowing this book to become a phenomenal listening experience. Highly recommend adding this to your library.

39 of 57 people found this review helpful

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Kleptocracy, Thy Name is Putin

This book was well-researched, well written, and well narrated. It is enlightening about what a mess the Russian leadership and economy are in. It then goes on to document all of the connections that Donald Trump says that he does not have.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Well Done!

This book lays it all out on the table. It tells me the most about the Russian involvement with Trump, the divider and chief, during Trumps mobster life. I hope and pray that he does not get away with all the EVIL this man has perpetuated on the World.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Now we know why Trump kisses Putin’s butt

Very well documented hopefully Mueller has finished his copy. If you want to know the truth here it is laid out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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textbook like

it was too heavy on naming specific Russians and didn't flow like a narrative should.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best book on Trump/Putin

While Putin’s Kleptocracy details Putin’s rise to power, and other books tackle interference in the 2016 US elections, this book goes back 40 years to show the breadth and depth of connections between Putinworld and Trumpworld. I have to imagine that Mueller’s report will be Unger’s book complete with proofs. As a side note, until reading this, I was unaware of the connection that Mueller had already gone after Mogilevich in Budapest years ago. It also becomes apparent why Trump wanted to fire Bharara.

Like so much of domestic US coverage, the focus of much reporting is on Putin’s influence on the election of Trump. What Unger documents is Putin’s broader strategy of destabilising every Western nation and alliance without fear or favor. From creating 20 million Syrian refugees to flood Europe and then fostering anti-refugee parties, to Brexit to investments in Toronto and Winnipeg, while Trump may be Beelzebub, Putin is as close to Satan as any man standing.

I suppose that right now it’s an open question as to whether historians will count Putin along with Peter the Great or Beria, a creative force or a destructive engine. My vote is for the latter, so far. He has certainly deconstructed the weaknesses of the West. Or perhaps that was Surkov?

We appear to be in the middle of Surkov’s WWIII and we are barely aware of it.

I highly recommend Unger’s book to you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thoroughly researched

This is the most informative of the five books I’ve listened to regarding the Trump/Russia connection.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful

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They own a president

If you only listen to the last paragraph which list 59 Russian mobsters with close ties to Putin and Trump. You will know he is up to his eyeballs in crime.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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more of a history

there's 50 tons of documentation of the russian/trump backstory here... chapters and chapters. well researched.
but- it was a chore to listen to. i kept waiting... hoping for it to go somewhere... but alas... as stories go, it was as bleak as I imagine russia, and trump's mind to be.
i imagine that it's something robert mueller may wanna read... or maybe, he already has.

12 of 20 people found this review helpful