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Book Review: The Shadow World by Andrew Feinstein

How the multibillion-dollar global arms market is built on graft

The Shadow World:
Inside the Global Arms Trade

By Andrew Feinstein
Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 672 pp; $30.00

 

Writing about the arms business isn’t easy. Weapons merchants, large and small, legal or illegal, hide their business behind numbered accounts, shell companies based in tax-haven islands, and middlemen who’ve learned to keep quiet. The arms dealers operate in distant places like Kiev or Sofia, beyond the rule of law and scrutiny. They live in Monte Carlo or Liechtenstein, where journalists aren’t welcome. They give interviews only after they’ve been caught red-handed, and even then will just maintain their innocence.