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Book review: Russian Roulette

Russian Roulette is a relatively new book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn. It dives into the web of relationships, rivalry and cyber hacks related to Russia’s infiltration of the 2016 US Presidential Election, which eventually saw Donald Trump take office.


Where does the title come from?


Roulette is a classic casino game of chance where players bet on numbers or groups of numbers between 00 or 0 and 36. There are a variety of roulette games, but interestingly, there are no Russian versions. The two most popular versions are US roulette and European Roulette, which have minor differences.


The term Russian roulette comes from a game with a much bigger risk than the casino game. A “player” of Russian Roulette will take a revolver and load it with one bullet before spinning the cylinder. They will then aim the firearm at their own head or body and fire the gun. They will either fire an empty round or kill themselves. It is known as Russian Roulette because the game was first recorded in a short story written by a Russian poet.


The use of Russian Roulette as the title of Michael Isikoff and David Corn’s book is thought to allude to the dangers in modern politics and campaigns, which have become a game of chance in a sea of hackers and spies. This time by the Russians in the USA.


Russian Roulette synopsis and review


Most people are aware that Russia managed to influence the US presidential Election in 2016. But much fewer people know how it happened and what they were able to achieve. Russian Roulette is a deep dive into the story behind the story, revealing shocking tales, espionage and providing incredible insights into Trump’s relationship with Putin.


In short, it’s a harrowing account of how Moscow was able to hack into American democracy, which ultimately led to Donald Trump getting into the White House. The book is arguably the most detailed and thorough account of the events that took place and led to this monumental moment in modern American politics.


The book does exceptionally well to weave together a complex web of tales and superpower rivalry. It asserts that Putin trained his country’s best hackers to troll US politics in a way never achieved before, helping Russia to strengthen on the global stage. Information was leaked that could help Trump gain power over his nearest rivals, which proved successful.


The story has been referred to as an international burglary on the highest stage. Trump won and perused business interest with Russia, leaving the American public scratching their heads and wondering what the hell just happened. All of the events which unfolded are told against a backdrop of the strange and curious relationship between Putin and Trump, including the relationships of both these men’s inner circles. Particular attention is paid to Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort – and their ties to Russia.


You’ll close the book finally with an answer to one of the biggest questions ever asked in modern world politics: How did Russia manage to infiltrate a political process in one of its biggest superpower rivals?


Russian Roulette has won over the critics with stellar reviews from the most prominent voices. The New York Times described the book as “the most thorough and riveting account”.

18 thoughts on “Book review: Russian Roulette”

  1. That The New York Times described the book as “the most thorough and riveting account” means it’s not.

  2. Don’t look at the 2000 Mules, here’s a donkey making xiself an ass!

    The book is condemned by its praisers.

  3. Dennis, Bullshit Detector

    Michael Isikoff and David Corn? Nothing either one of those hacks has ever done can be called “fairly accurate” or “mildly interesting”, much less “thorough and riveting”.

  4. Which chapter covers the Russian agents who were hovering over my shoulder in the voting booth as I voted for him?

  5. By the way, American politicians, political scientists and journalists themselves write and talk about the fact that a real ’empire of lies’ has been created inside the United States in recent years. It’s hard to disagree with that; it’s true. But do not be modest: the United States is still a great country, a system-forming power. All her satellites not only resignedly and dutifully assent, sing along to her for any reason, but also copy her behaviour, enthusiastically accept the rules he proposes. Therefore, with good reason, we can confidently say that the entire so-called Western bloc, formed by the United States in its own image and likeness, all of it is the very ’empire of lies’.

  6. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    Is there a section on Brexit? I hope there is. We all know it was them Russians who won it for the racist brexiteers.

  7. Next week we review “It Takes a Village” by Hillary Rodham Clinton, a fairly recent book that offers brilliant insights into how communities and governments are more effective at raising children than archaic family structures based on toxic Judeo-Christian traditions. We mustn’t gamble with the future of our children but we can gamble safely at partaycasino-dot-com, a true village of fun.

    See also our range of P.I.E. t-shirts with great new graphic graphics, and watch out for our upcoming guide on how to improve your next party’s atmosphere by squatting low and dropping a massive, stinky shit right in the middle of all your guests.

  8. A book review written by GPT-3? Either way, well done on sneaking a revenue-generating link in there. I’ve clicked a few times just to keep you in beer.

  9. Is this simply an online casino advertisement? Or an SEO test? Either way, congrats on putting out a high word count with very little information about the book.

  10. One hopes they’ll write a similar book about how the fiendish denizens of the Swamp stuffed the ballot boxes and stole Trump’s second term. Putting a senile old drivel-head in his place.

  11. PF,
    Korn Worshipper gets it. This is one of the occasional articles posted by our host that are cleverly scripted to earn ad-bucks, in this case from an online casino site.

  12. “Particular attention is paid to Michael Flynn…”


    Oh, well played, sir. Well played.

  13. First published 13th March 2018. It hasn’t aged well! Even the NYT now admits claims of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election were bullshit.

  14. Another of Tim’s advertorial placements. There really should be an ADVERTISEMENT warning on these.

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