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Summary

An Economist Book of the Year 2020. 

A Washington Post Notable Book of the Year 2020.

In this real-life thriller packed with jaw-dropping revelations, award-winning Investigative Journalist Tom Burgis reveals a terrifying global web of corruption. Kleptopia follows the dirty money that is flooding the global economy, emboldening dictators and poisoning democracies. 

From the Kremlin to Beijing, Harare to Riyadh, Paris to the Trump White House, it shows how the thieves are uniting – and the terrible human cost. A body in a burned-out Audi. Workers riddled with bullets in the Kazakh desert. A rigged election in Zimbabwe. A British banker silenced and humiliated for trying to expose the truth about the City of London – the world’s piggy bank for blood money. 

Riveting, horrifying and written like fiction, this book shows that while we are looking the other way, all that we hold most dear is being stolen.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Tom Burgis (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"When you pick this book up, you won’t be able to put it down." (Misha Glenny, author of McMafia)

"A powerful, appalling, and stunningly reported exposé.... It reads like fiction, but unfortunately is all too true." (Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money)

"Read Kleptopia now." (Roberto Saviano, best-selling author of Gomorrah)

What listeners say about Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Is Conquering the World

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Genuinely Fascinating

I bought this booked based on Twitter recommendations. I’m not vastly knowledgeable about the world of finance but it turns out I didn’t have to be to enjoy this fanatic book.
The author has clearly done his research, as is displayed in the book and with the accompanying documents with all sources. This thoroughly enjoyable book discusses the actions and secrets that have taken place around the world in the pursuit of money, and therefore power.
Focussed heavily around the city of London, Russia, Khazakstan, with connections to Africa, Central Europe and of course, the USA, it describes the key players and dark network they use to steal, hide and profit from their money.
The book does jump around somewhat, but gradually, all the prices fall into place as you delve deeper. The book reads like a thriller, as others have said, and follows a chronological order by date, so it flows well and the events all link up neatly.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anybody interested in the dark underworld, espionage or finance. Or anyone who just enjoys a thriller.
I read this book as an audiobook and as such it was sometimes hard to remember who was who. I think it’s be easier in print form as it would take a bit longer to get through. I listened to it on my daily commute (2 hours a day) so occasionally missed the odd detail here and there.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant account of global corruption

Investigative journalism at its best, coupled with brilliant storytelling. One of the most interesting and engaging books I've ever read.

1 person found this helpful

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Not Good Narrating

Narrator cannot speak properly and is irritating to listen to. Tried but just switched off.

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Interesting stories , poor narrating

Book is fascinating, with an interesting narrative and facts that are unfortunately not investigated enough by the western governments, shows how money and politics intertwined and if you have enough money and connections with western politicians it is highly unlikely that that criminal enterprises that captured developing countries will ever see a light of justice. Having said all of the above, incredibly poor narrating, author should not have read this book here IMHO.

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  • 13-01-21

Fascinating read BUT....

... this is like the tv series “The Crown” - seems like a documentary, but in fact is a science fiction story.

I would take the facts presented with a pinch of salt.

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Dear God

...some of this we knew, but Burgis pulls the whole stinking carcass into full view. Superbly knitted together with a thread of naivety and eccentric innocence set against the brutal reality of how democracy is now just a cover story for kleptocracy. Brilliantly depressing.

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Jaw dropping.

Tom Burgis has painstakingly knitted a number of strands to reveal the truth about the global movement of stolen money, stolen power and stolen futures. It is an astonishing story - and an amazing read.

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The globalization of Kleptocracy

Laid out like the most unlikely of thrillers... But the events in the former Soviet republics run by oligarchs are entirely true and involve Tony Blair, Putin, the ousted demagogue Trump and his cartel and the death cult Saudi prince.
Well worth a read.

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Excellent book

This book really is a good listen, it opens your eyes to all the corruption that’s made possible by governments

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  • 31-12-20

Complex but intruiging

Complex and intriguing history of financial corruption, particularly originating out of central Asia and Russia. Reads like a thriller, obviously meticulously researched.