The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West

Malcolm Nance. Hachette, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-48481-7
Russian president Vladimir Putin is also “the first Russian president of the United States,” bent on world domination, with President Donald Trump merely his puppet, argues this overwrought work of conspiracy theory. NBC counterterrorism analyst Nance (The Plot to Hack America) gives a knowledgeable if disjointed rehash of the Russian government’s hacking into voter databases, leaking Democratic officials’ emails, bot-flooding social media with pro-Trump fake news, and holding suspicious meetings with Trump campaign figures during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He sets the account of these activities against a history of Russian hacking, disinformation, blackmail, and assassination in America and Europe. Nance inflates these reasonably well-attested claims into a grandiose Putin scheme to convert democracies into authoritarian ethnonationalist regimes in an “Axis of Autocracy.” Trump, he writes, is a “malignant narcissist” who displays “real idiocy” and is “willingly working with Putin to pull America down” for monetary gain alongside Republicans, white nationalists, and former Breitbart News executive chairman turned presidential advisor Steve Bannon, “the American Goebbels.” Nance produces no evidence that Trump has done anything at Putin’s behest, or that Putin masterminds the global populist right, or that Russian meddling decided the election; his larger conspiracy theories rest on hand-waving insinuations. The result is an unconvincing exaggeration of genuine misconduct into cartoonish supervillainy. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 06/26/2018
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-4391-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-4388-5
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