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McMafia: Crime without Frontiers
by Misha Glenny
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This sobering and sometimes shocking survey of the new world disorder takes as its starting point the fall of the USSR and the subsequent orgiastic looting of Russia's money and resources, the rise of the mind-bogglingly wealthy oligarchs and the Russian mafia. Guns, drugs cars and human beings are all grist to the mill of these hyper-capitalists who cross international borders, subvent laws, rule by violence and yet, oddly enough, provide a modicum of order and stability in destabilised regions even as they spread misery and make billions. And that's just the starting point. South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Japan and China are all linked in an ever-expanding shadow economy that mirrors and outpaces the legitimate trade network. Crime has gone global. Crime prevention has not.
There are many horrible things between the covers of this book, but it's the sad and terrible plight of the victims of sex-trafficking that make you want to weep. Deceived, used, abused, every night a long string of rapes under threat of violence, escape usually means deportation and the risk of recapture. It makes you want to hit something, but, of course, hitting things is their game.
The globalisation of crime is a huge theme. Each area examined in this books deserves a book of its own. Nevertheless, Glenny's concise, impassioned account of the web of illegality wrapped around our world gives a proper sense of what's going on and where it might be going.
Glenny's book is a must for anyone curious about the underlying motivations behind much of the world's headlines, whether it's African politics, the 'New' Russian & Eastern European cultural transformations, or the thriving US black market.
With eye-popping detail, Glenny writes about gangsters and politicians, economics, and the effects seemingly benevolent acts (the fall of Communism, Apartheid; globalization treaties, the internet) has served to enrich the global criminal underworld. Glenny often knew many of these 'biznessmen' and continually quotes them, and his narration is as addictive as a crime novel.
Rarely a day goes by without some aspect of Glenny's journalism and insight adding an extra facet to my understanding of what's going on around the world.
It's too hot to keep reading nonfiction. Maybe I'll try reading it again later.
I couldn't put this book down. Absolutely riveting account of the development of the Eastern European mafia after the fall of Communism. V. interesting about the drug trade in the Americas too.
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Wikipedia in English (8)
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the deregulation of international financial markets in 1989, governments and entrepreneurs alike became intoxicated by forecasts of limitless expansion into newly open markets. No one would foresee that the greatest success story to arise from these events would be the globalization of organized crime. This book is an encompassing, authoritative investigation of the now proven ability of organized crime worldwide to find and service markets driven by a seemingly insatiable demand for illegal wares. Whether discussing the Russian mafia, Colombian drug cartels, or Chinese labor smugglers, Misha Glenny makes clear how organized crime feeds off the poverty of the developing world, how it exploits new technology in the forms of cybercrime and identity theft, and how both global crime and terror are fueled by an identical source: the triumphant material affluence of the West.--From publisher description.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)364.106Social sciences Social problems and services; associations Criminology Crimes and Offenses
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This syndicate survey is particularly enlightening about the tandem post-Soviet rise of the Russian mafia, the oligarchy and global finance. But Eastern Europe has no monopoly on brutality, illicit deals and money laundering. There's always someone willing to cut corners or get government out of the way. Ten years after publication, with a British crime drama based on the book, not much has changed.