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Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump Hardcover – March 13, 2018
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"Two of the best and most accomplished investigative reporters of their generation, two of the best investigative reporters we have in this country...[A] superpower reporting team."―Rachel Maddow
"RUSSIAN ROULETTE is...the most thorough and riveting account."―The New York Times
"RUSSIAN ROULETTE performs an important service in tracing how establishment Washington...came to understand that what Russia was (and reportedly is still) up to was not routine espionage...[RUSSIAN ROULETTE] is engaging, smart."― The Washington Post
"[RUSSIAN ROULETTE] does an outstanding job of putting the Russia-Trump story into context, separating rumor from fact and adding new information...A smart, solid, even-handed book that future historians will use as a starting point."―Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
David Corn is a veteran Washington journalist and political commentator. He is the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine and an analyst for MSNBC. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Battled the GOP to Set Up the 2012 Election and Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (co-written with Michael Isikoff). He is also the author of the biography Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's Crusades and the novel Deep Background.
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Corn and Isikoff are professional writers and they know how to tell a story. Even though they begin with Trump, the connections between the two countries began in the 1990's. Savvy Mikhail Gorbochov was succeeded by Boris Yeltsin, who was followed by Vladimir Putin, a cagey former KGB foreign intelligence officer. Each of the three American presidents who dealt with Putin in turn had different views of the Russian leader. The authors go into detail about Putin's control of his world, where oligarchs and businessmen came and went, while Putin remained in power and the political and financial corruption flourished.
But Donald Trump met Vladimir Putin a few years before he became US president. He was trying to do business - hotel business - in Moscow and visited the country in 2013 with his Miss Universe contest. The authors go on to discuss Putin's relationship with Trump in the years since.
No one reading this book will change his mind about Donald Trump. That cake's baked for most of us. But, if you're looking for a well written political book, you really should read "Russian Roulette".
This book is meticulously researched, and written in a calm, factual matter. There are many opportunities where the authors could have taken a shot. They didn't. There are many opportunities where there could have been long editorializing. There weren't any. Even at the end, the conclusion was wrapped up very quickly and rather too abruptly. It would have been nice to hear a little more about what the authors actually thought about this, as opposed to just the factual accounting.
The tone of the book is conversational. It starts slowly, but it ramps up the tension in the second half of the book. It begins to seem like a potboiler on the bestseller charts. Or, as many in the book said, like a Tom Clancy novel. The only problem is that the Thriller has no ending yet. However, one thing that is clear here is that the Russian involvement was pervasive and that Hillary Clinton was affected. If anyone has any doubt about that, just read the parts about how she was buffeted by one bombshell after another in the last weeks of the campaign.
The factual circumstances are, of course, very troubling. At a minimum, it seems we have someone who shouldn't be president. And that's the most charitable view. We are in uncharted territory.