First of all, much love to this book for having a clever cover. Donald Trump and the Putin nesting dolls…it gave me a laugh every time I looked at it, especially the Putin face sticking out of an oversized body.
Second, and more important…this book should have been much better than it was given the subject.
I’ve explored some of the connections between the Russian organized crime unit and Donald Trump. I was anticipating this book would make those links more clear.
Instead, it’s basically a mass name dump with a lot of second hand accounting of shady deals and alleged connections. Like these guys would get into a room once and plot out the future of two countries over the next twenty years.
It tries to make the case that Donald Trump has been on the take from shady Russian oligarchs and mobsters for years. On some level, it succeeds but the book is too unfocused to really provide a thread for said case. It’s far more interesting in detailing the varied connections of dozens of Russians and assumes that all of these make its case for it.
Definitely not a bad book, just an exhausting one for such a short length and one that doesn’t do enough to get to the point. Luke Harding’s written about these and while he doesn’t throw all the names in a stew, his books are more focused. I’d start there if you have an interest in learning about Donald Trump and the Russian mafia.