- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Books (June 26, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316484814
- ISBN-13: 978-0316484817
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 202 customer reviews
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The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West Hardcover – June 26, 2018
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"Nance traces the revival of Russian enmity to Putin's second term as president, when he turned his KGB training to good use in weakening his American opponents by exploiting their divisions-exactly what those active measures are supposed to do... A convincing...cry that treason is afoot."
"The early chapters are easy going; the writing gets denser as Russians pop up faster than creatures in a Whack-a-Mole game, but even as this plot gets more intricate (and, yes, sometimes it does read like a political thriller), readers will be turning pages quickly, feeling both anxiety and betrayal. When, in the final pages, Nance lays out how he believes Donald Trump was recruited by Russian intelligence through the time-tried operation known as MICE (money, ideology, coercion, and ego), even supporters of the president will have something to think about. For those who are not supporters, Nance offers suggestions designed to counter the threat."
"It's an admittedly serious discussion about a serious topic: the survival of our country. With the level of detail, and fascinating insight, that only Malcolm can provide."―Espeak.com
About the Author
Malcolm Nance is author of the New York Times bestseller The Plot to Hack America. He is a globally recognized Intelligence community member and a counter-terrorism analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.
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And, unlike so many others writing on this subject (some currently on the best seller lists), Nance is not hesitant to say what he thinks the connection is between Putin and Trump and how it changed the 2016 election.
The material is complicated--so many people, places and events to keep straight--but Nance writes well and lays it all out clearly--including the motivations he believes exist for the main actors. Agree or disagree with him, any reader should appreciate how Nance doesn't mince words. Here, for example, are the opening two sentences of Chapter One: "On November 8, 2016, Vladimir Putin became the first Russian President of the United States. What could arguably be called the greatest intelligence operation in the history of the world had been executed and the result was that the candidate Moscow had supported had won."
That's pretty bold. What follows includes explanations of cyber warfare, Putin's efforts to undermine democracy in other countries as well as the U.S., Trump's leadership and character failings, Nance's view that the central idea of the Steele dossier (that Putin "has" something on Trump and is using it) is true, the many threads indicating conspiracy between Trump and Putin in 2016, and Putin's long range goals. For me, Nance filled in many things I wanted to know about, including what has happened in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union--and how it's led to the rise of Putin, the former head of the KGB, as the autocratic president of non-socialist, non-democratic new Russia.
Despite Russia's weakened economy (Russia really shouldn't be part of the G7, for example), Putin is making every effort to make it a major player on the world stage again (now, per Nance, succeeding more than ever with Trump's apparent cooperation). In two decades, he has consolidated his power and is now dealing with his 4th U.S. president although with a distinctly different relationship with Trump than anyone before him. When Putin told Trump to "meet in the Oval office with Labrov and Kislyac" last year, Trump did it. It was the first time they were allowed in the Oval Office since Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. Trump did it in secret, and made sure no U.S. reporters were present. Americans learned about it from the Russian photographer (spy?) who was allowed in.
Trump admitted last month after the North Korea summit, that it was Putin who had told him to cancel the U.S. military exercises in Korea. Trump even told Kim Jung Un he would do it before he told U.S. officials, including the Secretary of Defense. He and Putin have met alone before, without even a U.S. translator present, only a Russian one. Trump and Putin have private talks frequently by phone, per Trump, that are undocumented. They plan to meet alone again at the summit in Helsinki. Presidents don't do things like that, so Americans should really wonder, "Why?".
Reading "The Plot to Destroy Democracy" makes you wonder if there's a larger agenda here. In Nance's view, Trump often pushes Putin's doctrine and goals, whether it's an overly friendly and trusting message to North Korea's dictator or a hostile one to our NATO allies. It's something to think about, as the news unfolds before us. Was there--is there still--a relationship between Putin and Trump that is not healthy for our democracy?
A less ambitious book might be easier to follow in parts, but Nance brings you up to speed on both the details and the "big picture". The Mueller investigation (here, hardly a "witch hunt" or hoax) is likely to add more indictments this summer--and trials are beginning soon. Americans need to understand what Russia did in 2016 and look at what this administration is doing now. In 2016, Russia attacked a United States election over months, in a number of ways, including hacking and weaponizing stolen information; attacks on databases and voting systems; and massive disinformation campaigns through social media. They haven't gone anywhere, and it makes sense they'll work to get Republicans in office again using these and whatever new tactics they've developed in the last two years, with greater access to government.
With an election coming again this November--and, reportedly, no more protection against Russia's attacks on American democracy than existed the last time--this book could not be timed better in sounding an alarm.
One point I would like to add: trump seems to be really bothered by the fact that the only way he won the election was to cheat. That's why he keeps bringing it up. Same way he says he never pays for sex. He seems to be bothered that people don't actually like him and find him disgusting--hence all the rallies. It's a weakness that is easily exploited by the Russians.
This book should be read by every single civics class. We are close to the edge of a cliff, according to Nance, and there are simply too many details to doubt the veracity of his thesis. Comparisons to the rise of the third Reich are not out of line.
Extremely well written.
It clarified some things, and also validated some of the beliefs that I already had. (Yes, I know "Confirmation bias")
I have read several books about Trump and Putin - so some of the material I had read before. But Mr. Nance gave the reasons and history behind some of the behaviors we are currently seeing. I have been trying to understand why the rpublicans are standing behind someone who is so blatanly unAmerican and pro-Russian. Why would they vote to undermine our democracy.... after reading this book, it all makes sense. For money and power - they are being rewarded by Putin backed agencies
I was surprised several months ago when I saw a documentary about how much the NRA and evagelicals loved and supported Putin. Yes, I actually saw these NRA and evangelical leaders with pro-Russian material, and speaking pro-Russian sentiments themselves. Not someone reporting that they said it . but I actually heard them saying it with my own ears, and saw it with my own eyes. Money is being funneled to the republicans through the NRA. The gop is supposed to represent American democracy and its people - not sell itself to Russia
Trump is a very narcissitic, and greedy, who is easily taken advantage of because of this- Putin manipulated that - and still is. Putin wants to be "the" world power ... and Trump is helping him in that goal