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Publisher's Summary

A former adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff explains how government's oldest problem is its greatest destabilizing force. Thieves of State argues that corruption is not just a nuisance; it is a major source of geopolitical turmoil. Since the late 1990s, corruption has grown such that some governments now resemble criminal gangs, provoking extreme reactions ranging from revolution to militant puritanical religion.
Through intensive firsthand reporting, Sarah Chayes explores the security implications of corruption throughout our world: Afghans returning to the Taliban, Egyptians overthrowing the Mubarak government - but also redesigning Al Qaeda - and Nigerians embracing both evangelical Christianity and Islamist terrorist groups like Boko Haram. The pattern, moreover, pervades history. Canonical political thinkers such as John Locke and Machiavelli, as well as the great medieval Islamic statesman Nizam al-Mulk, all named corruption as a threat to the realm.
In a thrilling argument that connects the Protestant Reformation to the Arab Spring, Chayes asserts that we cannot afford not to attack corruption, for it is a cause, and not a result, of global instability.
©2015 Sarah Chayes (P)2015 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Keefer on 05-25-15

Fantastic insight

This book could have been merely good, if the author simply shared her first-hand experiences with corruption. Instead, she went beyond by researching historic writings on corruption and drawing parallels to current day. In addition, she also gives many reasonable options for fighting corruption moving forward.

While some reviewers have found the narration to be "shrill," I found it had extra weight when the thoughts were stressed as the author intended. Some statements are meant to have impact and the voicing should reflect that.

All around this is an outstanding book. It moves beyond merely reporting on facts, to understanding causes, and recommending solutions.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Krystyna Hanser on 04-08-15

A Must Read Book

Would you consider the audio edition of Thieves of State to be better than the print version?

I like the narrator -- she happens to be the author -- but have not read the printed book.

What does Sarah Chayes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It is a powerful, instructive account of reality. It should be required reading for us all.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nothing to laugh about, but it is certainly "for to weep".

Any additional comments?

Wake up, everybody.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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