The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade

Andrew Feinstein. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30 (704p) ISBN 978-0-374-20838-7
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. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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