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The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade Paperback – November 27, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Revised and Updated edition (November 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 125001395X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250013958
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This shocking expose unveils a shadow world of corruption, greed, slaughter, and other horrors, tawdry and gruesome in its criminality. It must be brought to a quick and final end."—Noam Chomsky
 
"A devastating and scrupulously documented account of the greed, venality, and rampant corruption pervading the global arms trade...A brilliant and massively important book."—Andrew J. Bacevich, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.), and author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War
 
"Feinstein writes with a crusading spirit and a depth of detail that lend The Shadow World urgency and authority….A comprehensive treatment of the arms trade, possibly the most complete account that has ever been written."—The Washington Post

"Feinstein makes his case with an impressive amount of detailed research and a gift for narrative that make his findings hard to dismiss."—Foreign Affairs

"An eye-opener…Everyone would do well to read this book and self-educate on what this world is all about, and then take some action in the voting booth....Tremendous."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Gripping… Feinstein has succeeded in writing a book that analyses the international arms market with a level of detail and a degree of referencing that may well be unique—what you rarely find in a book aimed at a wide readership… it is a singularly powerful study, and deserves to be ready by anyone who wants to see light shining on such a shadowy world… Impressive.”—Paul Rogers, The Independent (London)

 

“There is enough in Feinstein's book for a dozen film pitches. Bizarre characters leap from the page…. Remarkable and courageous… A heroic book by an author who, in writing it, has placed himself in the firing line.” —The Sunday Herald (Scotland)

 

“I initially expected that the title The Shadow World was hyperbolic. It is not. What Feinstein describes is the underbelly of globalization… The facts are so astonishing that they speak for themselves.” —Alex de Waal, Times Literary Supplement (United Kingdom)

 

“A highly pertinent, deeply damning indictment of the flourishing of the world’s ‘second oldest profession’….Feinstein’s book is sound, timely, and invaluable. Diligent readers will be rewarded.” —Kirkus (starred review)

 

“The Shadow World peels back the veil of secrecy behind which the global arms trade undermines accountable democracy, socioeconomic development, and human rights, causing suffering across the world… This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about justice, transparency, and accountability in both the public and private spheres, and for anyone who believes that it is more important to invest in saving lives than in the machinery of death.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu

About the Author

Andrew Feinstein is the author of After the Party, a political memoir. He is currently an Open Society Institute Fellow and the founding codirector of Corruption Watch in London.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon Customer
Billions of dollars are spent and wasted in this self-perpetuating cycle which is corroding democracy in the U.S. - and by extension the rest of the world.
Mike B
Great job and I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in reading about this truly shadowy world of Global Arms Trade.
Gonzo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Gonzo on November 14, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just got done with the book and I simply can't comprehend the extent of corruption related to this trade. It is amazing that despite the trove of evidence cited in the book and how brazen and complete the violations are, nothing meaningful has been done to-date to stop these crimes. It's mind boggling to read about the radar equipment sold to Tanzanian air force that has 8 planes at cost equivalent to the amount spent on health or how South Africa is paying for planes it didn't want or need in the first place. After Daniel Yergin's book on Oil, this is one of the most comprehensively researched book that I've read. Amazing job by the Author who am sure is risking a lot by exposing these corrupt regimes and corporations around the world. Great job and I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in reading about this truly shadowy world of Global Arms Trade. Simply amazing book and yet another example of the power of corruption.
m
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By JYK on November 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book brings together the bits and pieces that came to light over the years to shed light on the appalling behind-the-scenes dealings in the arms trade. It's just sad to see how much companies and governments are willing to turn blind eyes to - corruption, impact on developing countries and the resulting devastation - in the name of profit. Also, Mr. Feinstein, not being an American, brings a different perspective on this massive issue, which is always interesting to read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mike B on March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a formidable account of the global arms trade. It's not a pretty picture. It's laden with corruption and shoddy characters making millions of dollars. Hardly any of them pose the moral question: "why am I doing this"? What is the purpose of all these deals for faster jets and small arms that number in the hundreds of thousands? The money and the killing fields are ever-expanding.

It's all outlined, in sometimes excruciating detail, in Andrew Feinstein's book. The United States is selling, by the dozens, high-tech jets to Saudi Arabia - the richest authoritarian country on the planet. Saddam died a few years ago - what do they need so many for? It's almost like these immoral states (Saudi Arabia, Libya) are collectors - lining up their tanks, planes, artillery... for an impressive show.

The sordidness of all these transaction sales are given in detail; for instance - purportedly Poland sells weapons to Latvia, some end up there and the rest are re-routed to Somalia. And this is a simple outline. As Mr. Feinstein well illustrates any weapons deal implicates bribes in the millions of dollars - it's the standard protocol.

I worked for a medium-sized company and after SOX auditing was introduced, any code changes to the accounting systems - no matter how insignificant - had to be signed off by managers, accountants... I learnt from this book that the Pentagon, which deals in billions of dollars, has not been audited for twenty years! The U.S. has a parallel government running within Congress - the Pentagon - and the private companies supplying armaments that are not accountable to the taxpayer. Billions of dollars are spent and wasted in this self-perpetuating cycle which is corroding democracy in the U.S. - and by extension the rest of the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Drake Vaughn on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Feinstein is fearless in documenting the corruption and corrosiveness within the global arms market. I applaud him for gathering this five-star research and documenting it so thoroughly. My only criticism is that the material is so dense that it reads like a legal brief. I figure the reason is to protect Feinstein from any hints of a libel lawsuit, especially since he resides in England where the laws are far harsher than in the States. And considering the book focuses on some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world (and it goes without saying, who are also really well armed), Feinstein is smart to back up his criticism with a good heaping of documented facts. Still, I felt much of the research could've been relegated to footnotes in order for the book to be more accessible.

The majority of the book focuses on the corruption within the Al Yamamah oil-for-arms deal, along with the private payouts and slush funds for the well-connected British and Saudis involved in it. Likewise Feinstein documents BAE's corruption and willingness to look the other way for a bigger payoff. My biggest fear is many readers will be put off by the density of the material, since this subject is ripe for further investigation. Hopefully, Feinstein will continue his research and next time whittle down the contents into a more manageable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lakelover on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Shadow World gives important and timely insights into the global arms business.

Well-written, thoroughly researched and credible, this book provides a comprehensive perspective on the global arms trade, from individual merchant to the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex, as well as the related costs and the challenges to dealing with the problems.

Moreover, recent announcements of fighter sales to Saudi Arabia and Japan along with a proposed re-prioritizing of the Defense Department make The Shadow World a timely book.

Feinstein writes with a first-hand knowledge that he has augmented with ten years of research. A good starting point are the short video clips of Feinstein on the book's website: [...]
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