Book Reviews

Book Review: Kleptopia

Tom Burgis has done amazing research into the web of kleptocrats that has risen out of the fall of the Soviet Union. Most of the focus is on Russian mobster Semion Mogilevich and the Kazakh Trio of oligarchs that own Eurasian Natural Resources Company.

Book cover: Kleptocracy: How Dirty Money Is Conquering the World by Tom Burgis

Burgis has a thorough understanding of organized crime, financial crime, international business, and political issues. He has solid citations pointing to journalism and primary documents, and he conducted interviews and received other documents in the process of writing this book.

The research is really solid, and he ties it together with succinct ideas about the fundamentals of how kleptocracy works. At issue, however, is the organization of the book. I found it disjointed and hard to follow, even though I was already familiar with most of the characters. If someone who has studied this topic as much as I have is struggling, then I would hate to think what the reading experience is like for someone completely new to it.

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