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Extended Audio Sample McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld, by Misha Glenny Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,138 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Misha Glenny Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the deregulation of international financial markets in 1989, governments and entrepreneurs alike became intoxicated by forecasts of limitless expansion into newly open markets. No one would foresee that the greatest success story to arise from these events would be the globalization of organized crime. Current estimates suggest that illegal trade accounts for nearly one-fifth of global GDP.

McMafia is a fearless, encompassing, wholly authoritative investigation of the now proven ability of organized crime worldwide to find and service markets driven by a seemingly insatiable demand for illegal wares. Whether discussing the Russian mafia, Colombian drug cartels, or Chinese labor smugglers, Misha Glenny makes clear how organized crime feeds off the poverty of the developing world, how it exploits new technology in the forms of cybercrime and identity theft, and how both global crime and terror are fueled by an identical source: the triumphant material affluence of the West.

To trace the disparate strands of this hydra-like story, Glenny talked to police, victims, politicians, and members of the global underworld in eastern Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, China, Japan, and India. The story of organized crime’s phenomenal, often shocking growth is truly the central political story of our time. McMafiawill change the way we look at the world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Besides demonstrating Glenny's courage, his book exhibits at least two other characteristics of special importance: First, he provides insightful sociological perspectives about why certain nations spawn especially widespread and virulent organized crime networks. Second, he explains how policies in certain nations (mainly, but not exclusively, the United States) generate unanticipated ripple effects in the structures of other nations' criminal underworlds…Searing. The Seattle Times
  • “A bravura piece of globe-trotting reportage, "McMafia" traces the origins and maps the reach of every major known transnational criminal network operating in the 21st century . . . engrossing. San Franciso Chronicle
  • Immensely informative and more than slightly scary. The Washington Post
  • A vividly recounted journey through a dozen of the world's most potent gangs, cartels and transnational mafias. The Wall Street Journal
  • For anyone who wants to understand the 21st century, this illuminating and page-turning book is essential reading.
    –Emma Thompson
  • Behind every great fortune,’ said Balzac, ‘there lies a great crime.’ Misha Glenny has updated this aperçu for our own time. Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great
  • A riveting and chilling journey . . . Readers yearning for a deeper understanding of the real-life, international counterparts to The Sopranos need look no further than Glenny's engrossing study. Publishers Weekly
  • In this well-researched and riveting account, Glenny does for crime what he did for the Balkans. He dissects the international criminal organizations that run much of the world’s economy and explains how the criminal underworld has both benefited from and contributed to globalization. Joseph Stiglitz, author of Making Globalization Work
  • A terrifying tour of the violent underworld of globalized crime. New York Post
  • Eye-opening…Engrossing. The Miami Herald

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jan | 2/20/2014

    " I knew it was bad - organised crime in Europe, but this was too depressing to know. EU and Shengen has unlocked the doors to our country and homes for criminals so ruthless I should prefer not to know this. I have closed the book half read and given it back to the library. The book is really good - for persons wanting to be drepressed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Gerald | 2/12/2014

    " Glenny is an exceptionally capable and thorough investigative journalist. This big book reads like a collection of magazine articles. Despite the clever title, which hypes the book wonderfully, there is no over-arching (pun not intended, but hey) criminal organization dominating the world's grayish-black markets. As the author explains in a thoughtful Epilogue, today's global situation fosters an organic, bottom-up growth of organized crime, caused by the dual factors of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the concurrent deregulation of Western financial markets. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nick Wallace | 2/12/2014

    " I got a lot of arrows from this pointing to some interesting syndicates, but it unfortunately suffers for that same reason. Each of the sections would make a great solo project, but there's just too much atomization going on here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rory | 2/7/2014

    " Well the cover looked good... But seriously it took me a while to get into the pace of the author. A common problem I have with British writers. No Biggy though. Overall the book was informative. But I think I was expecting a Michael Lewis type take on the world of the illicit which it was not. Am I all the smarter for reading this? Yes. "

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