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Download Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, by Sarah Chayes Click for printable size audiobook cover
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Illuminating…scholars and CNN junkies alike should be intrigued by the issues Chayes brings up and impressed with the solutions she suggests.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Sarah Chayes provides a vivid, ground-level view on how pervasive corruption undermines US foreign policy and breeds insurgency. Thieves of State provides critical lessons that all policymakers should heed.”

    Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man

  • “In a stunning and compelling argument, Sarah Chayes transforms our understanding of the ugly reality behind sustained terrorism and other threats around the globe. She writes with an authenticity born of on-the-ground, in-the-markets, and at-the-headquarters experiences that are unmatched by any other American.”

    Eric Olson, retired US Navy Admiral

  • “Thieves of State…stands our understanding of the sources of violent extremism on its head, arguing that the governments we have been relying on to fight terrorism are themselves one of its most potent and insidious sources. Sarah Chayes weaves together history, adventure, political analysis, personal experience, culture, and religion in a shimmering and compelling tapestry.”

    Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of the New America Foundation

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A Carnegie Medal for Literature Longlist Selection
  • Winner of the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest
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