Gregory Feifer (Russia, 2000-2002) reviews three new books about the mechanics of authoritarian kleptocracy for the Times Literary Supplement: Surviving Autocracy by Masha Gessen; Shadow State: Murder, mayhem and Russia’s remaking of the West by Luke Harding; and Kleptopia: How dirty money is conquering the world by Tom Burgis.

“If Putin’s brand of Russian exceptionalism is founded on enduring national mythologies—including the superiority of the collective, currently reflected in nostalgia for communism—Trump taps into Americans’ opposite faith in small-government individualism,” he writes. “In fact, the two leaders are united behind those tropes’ façades in the real business of amassing power and money, mutual interests shared by a burgeoning global oligarchy of kleptocrats responsible for laundering vast illicit sums through the world’s safe havens.”


Read the full article here.

Image credits here.