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Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by [Sarah Chayes]

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Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security Reprint Edition, Kindle Edition

4.5 4.5 out of 5 stars 499 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Makes a strong case that acute corruption causes not only social breakdown but also violent extremism. . . . An important book that should be required reading for officials in foreign service, and for those working in commerce or the military. The story will interest the nonspecialist reader too."
Giles Foden, New York Times Book Review

"Should be required reading."
Thomas Friedman

"[A] fascinating story. . . . [T]he central revelation in
Thieves of the State: at a certain point, systemic corruption became not just a lamentable by-product of the war but an accelerant of conflict . . . Chayes argues, convincingly, [that state-sanctioned larceny is] a threat not just to Afghanistan’s national security but to that of the United States."
Patrick Radden Keefe, New Yorker

"[Chayes] tells the story of what happened in Afghanistan brilliantly, and compares her experience there with the current corruption in Egypt, Russia and the dismal rest . . . [a] page-turner."
Deirdre N. McCloskey, Wall Street Journal

G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

"Informative, thought-provoking, very interesting and concisely written. . . . Through personal experience and her own research, Chayes makes a simple yet profound argument."
Taylor Dibbert, Huffington Post

"A revolutionary book. Sarah Chayes weaves together history, adventure, political analysis, personal experience, culture, and religion in a shimmering and compelling tapestry."
Anne-Marie Slaughter

"A vivid, ground-level view on how pervasive corruption undermines U.S. foreign policy and breeds insurgency.
Thieves of State provides critical lessons that all policymakers should heed."
Francis Fukuyama

"Sarah Chayes brilliantly illuminates a topic no one wants talk about―but we must. Corruption is an insidious force that is causing some of the most dangerous challenges our world is facing. It has to be at the core of America’s strategies, engagements and relationships for the twenty-first century."
Admiral (ret.) Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff --This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

An award-winning former NPR correspondent, foreign policy expert, and entrepreneur with ten years’ experience in Afghanistan, Sarah Chayes is an associate at the Carnegie Endowment and the author of The Punishment of Virtue. She lives in Washington, DC. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00L4HAXDM
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (January 19, 2015)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 19, 2015
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 4175 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 274 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0393352285
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 4.5 out of 5 stars 499 ratings

About the author

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My zig-zag trajectory has led from reporting from Paris for National Public Radio and covering the fall of the Taliban in 2001, to running a soap factory in downtown Kandahar in the midst of a reigniting insurgency. (Chronicled in "The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban"). By the end of my decade in Afghanistan, I was serving as special advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen.

I left the Pentagon for a five year stint at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where I examined other developing countries considered corrupt, to see if patterns I had discovered in Afghanistan applied elsewhere. Turns out, they do. (See "Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.")

Now, sick at heart, I have applied the same methodology to my own beloved country, the United States. Read the shocking results in "On Corruption in America -- And What Is at Stake."

I will be discussing those findings and their implications throughout the fall of 2020.

Then...having spent so many years "disenchanting," I claim my turn to enchant.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
499 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 19, 2015
3 people found this helpful
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 6, 2015
9 people found this helpful
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 23, 2016
12 people found this helpful

Top reviews from other countries

Eric J M Woehrling
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best books I have read this year
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 6, 2015
3 people found this helpful
Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good basic insights to how state corruption threatens global security
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 19, 2017
2 people found this helpful
Tallat M Azad
4.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener & a Wake Up Call
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 2, 2017
Ademola Lawal
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incisive and Bold Book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 15, 2015
2 people found this helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative....goes back to the beginning of time.....Corruption a deep seated human conundrum
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 16, 2017
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