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The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade
     

The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade

3.6 5
by Andrew Feinstein
 

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The Shadow World is the harrowing behind-the-scenes tale of the global arms trade, revealing the deadly collusion among senior politicians, weapons manufacturers, felonious arms dealers, and the military that compromises our security and undermines our democracy.

Pulling back the curtain on this secretive world, Andrew Feinstein reveals the corruption and

Overview

The Shadow World is the harrowing behind-the-scenes tale of the global arms trade, revealing the deadly collusion among senior politicians, weapons manufacturers, felonious arms dealers, and the military that compromises our security and undermines our democracy.

Pulling back the curtain on this secretive world, Andrew Feinstein reveals the corruption and the cover-ups behind weapons deals ranging from the largest in history—between the British and Saudi governments—to the role Israel plays in helping U.S. weapons manufacturers sidestep economic sanctions. He exposes in forensic detail both the formal government-togovernment trade in arms and the shadow world of illicit weapons dealing, and lays bare the shocking and inextricable links between the two. Drawing on his experience as a member of the African National Congress who resigned when the ANC refused to launch an investigation into a corrupt major South African arms deal, Feinstein illuminates the impact this network has not only on conflicts around the world but also on the democratic institutions of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Based on pathbreaking reporting and unprecedented access to top-secret information and major players in this clandestine realm, The Shadow World places us in the midst of the arms trade’s dramatic wheeling and dealing, from corporate boardrooms to seedy out-of-the-way hotels, and reveals the profound danger this network represents to all of us.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With defense budgets soaring, the human cost of military expenditures is becoming disturbingly apparent. Feinstein's latest is an attempt to expose the corruption of the defense industry and the global arms trade, centered around British company BAE Systems and American defense contractor Lockheed Martin. One of the founding codirectors of London-based CorruptionWatch, Feinstein (After the Party) examines historical factors in the industry, from post-WWII Nazi arms-dealers to the impact on trade of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Through investigative transcripts, Feinstein illuminates strained international relations, government commissions, and trade complexities. He outlines business secrets and political pressures, as well as ongoing efforts to quell "the systemic 'legal bribery' that is the US arms business." Feinstein proffers some potentially effective but perhaps overly optimistic solutions, such as greater transparency and harsher sanctions. Immensely detailed and informative, Feinstein's timely book is engaging and challenging.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
Feinstein profiles the global arms trade, which embraces above-board government-to-government arms trade, illicit arms dealing, and the shady relationship between the two. His credentials? He resigned from the African National Congress when it refused to investigate suspect South African arms deals and is founding codirector of Corruption Watch—so he must be a busy man. Important enough to merit a one-day laydown.
Kirkus Reviews
A highly pertinent, deeply damning indictment of the flourishing of the world's "second-oldest profession." Global military expenditure was priced at $16.2 trillion in 2010--"$235 for every person on the planet," writes South African journalist and former ANC member of Parliament Feinstein (After the Party: Corruption, the ANC and South Africa's Uncertain Future, 2009). The trade in conventional arms, the legitimate tool of government (as opposed to weapons of mass destruction), engenders a secretive world, mainly due to enormous profits and the advance of nefarious political aims. The author focuses on the black market as well as the so-called grey market, where the government is involved "through legal channels, but undertaken covertly." He methodically examines the construction of the global military-industrial complex, including the breakup of the British arms trade after World War II, exemplified by British Aerospace's (now BAE Systems) courting of Saudi contracts, and the inroads of the Americans in the early '60s. After the war, the Americans had incorporated many key ex-Nazis into the West German intelligence service--e.g., Reinhard Gehlen and Gerhard Mertins, who secured beneficial arms deals for the U.S. and Germany. Feinstein looks closely at Margaret Thatcher and BA's deal with Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia in the mid '80s; and the pernicious legacy of Lockheed Martin and middlemen John Murtha, Charlie Wilson and Adnan Khashoggi. The author sees the collapse of the Soviet Union as key in changing the way arms dealers did business, since small, fractured states became the new clientele of rapacious dealers, from Croatia to Africa to Pakistan. He also provides portraits of the crusading investigators who have pursued these criminal cases--e.g., Helen Garlick of the UK's Serious Fraud Office. The detail is occasionally overwhelming, but Feinstein's book is sound, timely and invaluable. Diligent readers will be rewarded.
John Tirman
That the world is awash in weapons is not news. But the way weapons large and small flow from the United States, Britain and other producers to the world's villains is ever astonishing. In The Shadow World, Andrew Feinstein gives us a sweeping and troubling story of how this happens, who benefits, and what consequences follow…Feinstein…writes with a crusading spirit and a depth of detail that lend The Shadow World urgency and authority. Many of the sensational stories he tells have earned attention before, but he adds depth and shows how often patterns repeat.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
"This book is essential [listening] 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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374208387
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
11/08/2011
Pages:
704
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.43(d)

Related Subjects

Meet 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 co-director of Corruption Watch in London.

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Shadow World 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. Extremely well researched. Strikes fear when you see how the highest level of the United States government is for sale by Republicans to characters straigt out of the movie The Odessa File . The military industrial complex as embedded in this country
JYKWA More than 1 year ago
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.
drakevaughn More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago