Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win

Luke Harding. Vintage, $16.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-525-56251-1
Harding (The Snowden Files), former Moscow bureau chief for the Guardian, turns his investigative eye to the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the case for Russian influence on its outcome. Exploring well-worn cable news talking points—including the notorious Steele dossier of Trump’s alleged links to Russia, Trump Tower meetings with politically connected Russians, the Russian ties of Trump associates such as his onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort, and the firing of FBI Director James Comey—Harding adds depth and context to create a riveting, novelistic narrative. He uses his firsthand access to Steele dossier author Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer, to build the credibility of this explosive, albeit unverified, report. Steele emerges here as a level-headed, scrupulous intelligence veteran. Harding supplements his reliance on the dossier, summed up here as claiming that “for at least the past five years [before the election] Russian intelligence had been secretly cultivating Trump,” with a helpful synthesis of existing reporting from sources such as the New Yorker, Politico, BuzzFeed, and the Washington Post. He also details a few instances of his own reporting, including an interview with real estate tycoon Aras Agalarov, a longtime Russian ally of Trump’s. The politically charged subject matter is bound to make Harding’s work divisive, but one point not in dispute is Harding’s ability to bring together diverse strands of a complicated story to make a book that is informative, accessible, and hard to put down. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/18/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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