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Russian Roulette summary

Michael Isikoff and David Corn

The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump

4 (56 ratings)
27 mins

Brief summary

Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn is a gripping account of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. It takes readers behind the scenes of Moscow's election meddling, exposing a web of deceit and intrigue involving Donald Trump's campaign team and Russian officials.

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    Russian Roulette
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    Donald Trump sought to expand his business into Russia and displayed admiration for Russian president Putin.

    On November 9, 2013, the Crocus City Hall in Moscow was being prepared for a lavish extravaganza. The occasion centered around Donald Trump – the American business mogul and star of his own reality TV show – who was using the location for his most prized asset: the Miss Universe pageant.

    But this event was more than just a beauty contest. Trump had picked Moscow because he was eager to meet and make a good impression with Russian president Vladimir Putin, in the hope that he could expand his business into the country and even build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

    While Trump was nervous about whether Putin would show up for the pageant, he was also dealing with some bad press. By choosing Moscow as the event location, Trump had angered human rights organizations protesting against recent anti-gay legislation approved by the Russian parliament. The new law banned any so-called “gay propaganda,” under the justification of protecting children from being exposed to anything non-heterosexual.

    As a result, the Human Rights Campaign had demanded that he relocate the Miss Universe pageant, but Trump was determined. He’d been planning this business opportunity for too long, and by now too much was on the line.

    Aside from Putin, Trump was also looking forward to working with Emin Agalarov; an up-and-coming pop star from Azerbaijan that Trump had booked to perform.

    But it wasn’t just his musical talents that had Trump interested: Emin was the son of Aras Agalarov, a billionaire developer who was adept at cutting through Russian red tape in order to get projects moving. Sure enough, after the event, the Trump Organization and Agalarov’s company signed a letter of intent to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow.

    As for Putin, Trump was persistent in his public praise for the man, all in an effort to get his blessing for the project. Over multiple tweets, he had nothing but nice things to say about Putin’s intelligence and leadership abilities.

    The praise evidently paid off when Trump arrived in Moscow. Aras Agalarov handed him an official message that according to Trump read, “Mr. Putin would like to meet Mr. Trump.”

    This was just the news that Trump had hoped for, but a traffic jam would mean that Putin didn’t make it to the pageant.

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    What is Russian Roulette about?

    Russian Roulette (2018) relates the results of an investigation by two journalists into the Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election. These include details on Trump’s business ties to Russia, the Russian connections of his campaign team, the Russian hacking of Democratic institutions, the disinformation campaigns on social media and what Russian intelligence might have gathered to compromise Trump. The blinks also tell how the American intelligence community and the Obama administration reacted to the Russian hacking.

    Russian Roulette Review

    Russian Roulette (2018) is an incisive investigation that unravels the complex web of connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It presents carefully researched evidence and interviews with key players, offering a comprehensive understanding of the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
    • Through its detailed analysis of events, the book exposes the manipulations and strategies employed by both sides, revealing the high stakes involved in this political drama.
    • Its captivating narrative keeps readers hooked, providing a thrilling journey through the murky world of clandestine operations and political espionage.

    Best quote from Russian Roulette

    By the summer of 2016, Trump began claiming he could only lose the White House if the election were rigged.

    —Michael Isikoff and David Corn
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    Who should read Russian Roulette?

    • News junkies interested in the 2016 US presidential election
    • Concerned citizens who want to know more about Trump’s ties to Russia
    • Students of politics seeking an explanation for why Trump won

    About the Author

    Michael Isikoff is an investigative journalist who has worked for the Washington Post, Newsweek, and NBC News. He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers – Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter’s Story (2011) and Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (2007). Isikoff is currently chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News.

    David Corn is a long-time Washington journalist and political commentator. He is the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine and an analyst for MSNBC. Corn has authored three New York Times bestsellers, including Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Battled the GOP to Set Up the 2012 Election (2012).

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    Russian Roulette FAQs 

    What is the main message of Russian Roulette?

    The main message of Russian Roulette is a revealing account of the Russia investigation and its impact on American politics.

    How long does it take to read Russian Roulette?

    The reading time for Russian Roulette varies depending on the reader's speed. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Russian Roulette a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Russian Roulette is a compelling read that sheds light on the complexities of the Russia investigation and its implications for democracy.

    Who is the author of Russian Roulette?

    The authors of Russian Roulette are Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

    What to read after Russian Roulette?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Russian Roulette, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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