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The Shadow World

Inside the Global Arms Trade
Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
Length: 25 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (154 ratings)
Regular price: £28.00
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Summary

The downloadable audiobook edition of Andrew Feinstein's powerful exposé, The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, complete and unabridged and read by the actor Gildart Jackson. Pulling back the curtain on the secretive world of the global arms trade, Andrew Feinstein reveals the corruption and the cover-ups behind weapons deals ranging from the largest in history - between the British and Saudi governments - to BAE's controversial transactions in South Africa, Tanzania and eastern Europe, and the revolving-door relationships that characterise the US Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex. He exposes in forensic detail both the formal government-to-government trade in arms and the shadow world of illicit weapons dealing - and lays bare the shocking and inextricable links between the two. The Shadow World places us in the midst of the arms trade's dramatic wheeling and dealing, ranging from corporate boardrooms to seedy out-of-the-way hotels via far-flung offshore havens, and reveals the profound danger this network represents to all of us.

©2011 Andrew Feinstein (P)2011 Penguin Books Limited

Critic reviews

"Andrew Feinstein has written an authoritative guide to the business of war. Chilling, heartbreaking and enraging." (Arundhati Roy)
"Essential for anyone who cares about justice, transparency and accountability in both the public and private spheres, and for anyone who believes that it is more important to invest in saving lives than in the machinery of death." (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
"A devastating and scrupulously documented account of the greed, venality, and rampant corruption pervading the global arms trade." (Andrew J. Bacevich, retired colonel, US Army, and author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War)

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An extremely important book

Meticulously researched, over a whole range of geopolitical subjects.
I would urge anyone interested in politics , or indeed the well-being of humanity to read / listen to this book. It's so much more than just about the horror and corruption of the arms trade. It explains how corrosive it is to democracy and the judiciary in the west and to development in third world countries.
It also comprehensively shoots down the business argument- there is enormous waste and poor value for money in this massively subsidised industry. At times it reads like a novel . It is a book I imagine a lot of world leaders would rather didn't exist. All the more reason to read or listen to it

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Shining a light

I saw this book pretty much the month it was published last year.So what do you get?A short history of the arms trade then a more detailed examination of the major deals-Iran Contra Sierra Leone and the biggest one the Bae Saudi deal £43 billion that got the last government into so much troubleAll the major governments Britain,Russia The US seem keen to promote arms sales but what exactly happens when the arms are used?

Along the way there is a large collection of brokers dealers agents and middlemen and even a British
Royal.You get the feeling the author has waded through pages of documents and reports to compile his
devasting dossierBut its his experience as a member of the South African government asking awkward
questions about their own arms deal that really lifts it from a journalistic expose to an insiders view and the relationship between politicians the military and defence contractors is very well explained

Coming in at 25hours a day of my life i did wilt a bit by third section but hang on for the final part it
brings things up to date with Iraq and Libya and has some great quotations from the us military
I have only a slight hesitation at the length but it is worth it in my opinionI am listening to it again and
enjoying it.Plus the reading is excellentYou will learn a lot.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Devastating, detailed expose of the Arms Trade

This is an amazing listen, but not for the faint-hearted. It's a long and detailed book about the Arms Trade showing how the murky world of the illegal industry and the supposedly respectable arms industry - involving governments and major corporations - intersect. In particular, it exposes the corruption behind the market world leaders in this world - Lockheed-Martin and BAE systems. At every turn, attempts to bring these corporations to book have been thwarted, often by world leaders. One reviewer calls the book "academic". It isn't, it is long and detailed, however, and there's probably a shorter, harder hitting book in there somewhere. I'm glad, therefor, to see that this job will be done by a film due out in 2016.While his reading is not hugely expressive, hats off to Gildart Jackson for his clarity and stamina!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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All round some very interesting insights

If not a little too informative, or perhaps just ambitious in scope. I found it quite challenging at times to follow his narrative which frequently bounces back and forth between different countries, companies specific people, dates and examples. In all fairness the real difficulty of following along is mostly down to it being an audio book where the speed is set in stone, so you have to really pay attention otherwise much of what he says will go right over your head.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Highly credible Author

Any additional comments?

I know this author's history. He fought against apartheid when it was risky to do so. He then sacrificed a top position in the ANC (the movement that liberated South Africa from Apartheid) because he refused to turn a blind eye to its corruption. He is highly credible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • dc
  • uk
  • 22-02-16

Incredibly well researched and argued

One of the most informative books I have ever read. Andrew Feinstein seems like a throughly decent and honest man and it's a shame he's no longer a politician but excellent that he is able to shine a light on one of the most damage of political and industrial relationships.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Isy
  • Reading, United Kingdom
  • 31-08-12

Excellent book

An excellent inside information for the real compilation of facts. The actor that read the book is outstanding!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • steve
  • Rainham, United Kingdom
  • 12-08-13

What an eye-opener

I thought I was quite cynical about world affairs but even I was amazed at the cesspit of corruption and incompetence that this book reveals in detail. Well done the author for exposing this.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • 04-05-12

Academic and long

I learned a lot about arms trade - not surprising.
I was shocked regarding the enormous volumes. Very interesting to learn about the powers of arms trade, the wide spread corruption on all involved parts.

But for a layman I found it far too long. Sometimes like listening to an academic paper or a court judgement. Names, numbers, references... but hard to understand actual content or meaning.

As a Swede I now understand why SAAB cooperated with BAE Systems to sell the Gripen fighter...

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Face the truth about the world we live in.

Organised crime, AKA, world business practice. Don't feel that the arms industry is all bad, so are most businesses when you dig deep enough! The business world doesn't revolve with smiles and hand shakes alone, they all need their cut to make it feel worthwhile.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-12-18

excellent

The book in very informative and horrifying. The narration allows to follow the huge amount of information relatively easily.

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  • Mike
  • 19-05-16

The Arms Industry Revealed

Quite revealing expose of the disgraceful world where world powers make profits and poor people are massacred.No world power can hold up its head,they are all shameful.An excellent book,well read and presented.

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  • Hika
  • 22-12-11

Where your tax money goes...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Nobody needs to read this book to know the military industrial complex's of the US, UK, China, Russia, and Israel are out of control. What this book does is cronicle the outrages, and there are many by many. Obviously a tremendous amount of research has been done here. The author covers all the major players in the weapons game, and many of the smaller ones. Anyone who wonders why the US spends almost %5 GNP on the military, or how cost overuns work in the manufacturers favor, or what the real effect military programs have on job creation, needs to listen to this book. The level of legal bribery of US politicians by the military industrial complex is very depressing. The author digs the dirt on pretty much every country that buys and sells munitions...and its a really dirty business. An almost overwhelming (the corruption is for sure) amount of information, from coldwar manipulations of the soviet threat for the purposes of promoting weapon systems (a sales strategy that is used to present day) , to Iran-Contra, to the current Obama administration. Everything you wanted to know about the global arms trade but were afraid to ask....be very afaid.

What did you like best about this story?

It names names, dates, and places.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful