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.
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“This shocking expose unveils a shadow world of corruption, greed, slaughter, and other horrors, tawdry and gruesome in its criminality. It must be brought to a quick and final end.” Noam Chomsky
“A devastating and scrupulously documented account of the greed, venality, and rampant corruption pervading the global arms trade...A brilliant and massively important book.” Andrew J. Bacevich, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.), and author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War
“Feinstein writes with a crusading spirit and a depth of detail that lend The Shadow World urgency and authority….A comprehensive treatment of the arms trade, possibly the most complete account that has ever been written.” The Washington Post
“Feinstein makes his case with an impressive amount of detailed research and a gift for narrative that make his findings hard to dismiss.” Foreign Affairs
“An eye-opener…Everyone would do well to read this book and self-educate on what this world is all about, and then take some action in the voting booth....Tremendous.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Gripping… Feinstein has succeeded in writing a book that analyses the international arms market with a level of detail and a degree of referencing that may well be uniquewhat you rarely find in a book aimed at a wide readership… it is a singularly powerful study, and deserves to be ready by anyone who wants to see light shining on such a shadowy world… Impressive.” Paul Rogers, The Independent (London)
“There is enough in Feinstein's book for a dozen film pitches. Bizarre characters leap from the page…. Remarkable and courageous… A heroic book by an author who, in writing it, has placed himself in the firing line.” The Sunday Herald (Scotland)
“I initially expected that the title The Shadow World was hyperbolic. It is not. What Feinstein describes is the underbelly of globalization… The facts are so astonishing that they speak for themselves.” Alex de Waal, Times Literary Supplement (United Kingdom)
“A highly pertinent, deeply damning indictment of the flourishing of the world's ‘second oldest profession'….Feinstein's book is sound, timely, and invaluable. Diligent readers will be rewarded.” Kirkus (starred review)
“The Shadow World peels back the veil of secrecy behind which the global arms trade undermines accountable democracy, socioeconomic development, and human rights, causing suffering across the world… This book is essential reading 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
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.