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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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  • Phil O.
  • 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 . . . .

22 of 26 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.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Spies, Money, Sex, Flynn and Trump= Russia

This is a thrilling summary of all the things a host of investigative reporters and international spy agencies discovered about decades of Trump-Russia connections, including insider information on all the players. It reads like a spy thriller, all the more engrossing because it actually happened. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the truth about Trump/Russia and all the players.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Must Read

A Must Read for anyone following closely the Trump-Russia fiasco. I hope Mr. Harding continues making updates to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MPF7
  • Orlando, FL
  • 12-04-17

Extraordinarily thorough research.

This book is mandatory reading for anyone who wants to understand the scope of Russia’s intrusion into American democracy. Russia has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

Well-written, easy-flowing. A must-read for those open to well-researched truth. (Flynn admitted guilt just yesterday!) I had no idea Trump's connections to Russia date back to the last 70's! Though I knew a good deal of the information already (news junkie)-- there was enough revelation to keep me riveted.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Book

I learned so much. I wish it had been longer but I’ll listen to it again, as soon as it’s done. One thing I know a Liar and a Traitor will never take the US diwn

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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ENGROSSING!

Luke Harding has done a brilliant job of pulling together a very, very involved story. I am digging this audio book! I'm hearing bits that are relevant to what's being revealed in the papers every day and it's fascinating. Lots of puzzle pieces to put together, but a wonderful, wild ride.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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INCONCLUSIVE

Written like fiction so it grabs you emotionally. A tale to watch closely as it unravels. If collusion is proven: another dark day for our country. Worse than Watergate because we're such bad judges of character.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Every American

Every American should read this book! Our democracy demands an informed citizenry, and this book delivers.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful