"The first book to put the story of Russian interference into a broader context. . . Extraordinary and gripping.... With the pacing of a thriller and the insight of a superb work of history...this book is nothing less than essential reading. (Tim Naftali, The New York Times Book Review)
The definitive history of the covert struggle between Russia and America to influence elections, why the threat to American democracy is greater than ever in 2020, and what we can do about it.
Russia's interference in 2016 marked only the latest chapter of a hidden and revelatory history. In Rigged, David Shimer tells the sweeping story of covert electoral interference past and present. He exposes decades of secret operations - by the KGB, the CIA, and Vladimir Putin's Russia - to shape electoral outcomes, melding deep historical research with groundbreaking interviews with more than 130 key players, from leading officials in both the Trump and Obama administrations, to CIA and NSA directors, to a former KGB general.
What Americans should make of Russia's attack in 2016 is still hotly debated, even after the Mueller Report and years of media coverage. Shimer shows that Putin's operation was, in fact, a continuation of an ongoing struggle, using familiar weapons radically enhanced by new technology. Throughout history and in 2016, both Russian and American operations achieved their greatest success by influencing the way voters think rather than tampering with actual vote tallies.
Casting aside partisanship and sensationalism, Rigged reveals new details about what Russia achieved in 2016, how the Obama administration responded, and why Putin has also been interfering covertly in elections across the globe in recent years, while American presidents have largely refrained from doing so. Shimer also makes disturbingly clear that this type of intrusion can be used to harm Democrats and Republicans alike. Russia's central aim is to undermine and disrupt our democracy, to the detriment of all Americans.
Understanding 2016 as one battle in a much longer war is essential to understanding the critical threat currently posed to America's electoral sovereignty and how to defend against it. Illuminating how the lessons of the past can be used to protect our democracy in the future, Rigged is an essential audiobook for listeners of every political persuasion.
What the critics say
“As a CIA operations officer, I served through the most complicated periods of the Cold War. David Shimer's book Rigged gives a riveting account of that traumatic period. Shimer knows why and how we engaged in covert action, and what we were up against. He also knows the policies we must modify, if we are to succeed in the 2020s. This is a truly significant book; by all means, read it.” (Donald Gregg, former CIA station chief and national security advisor to VP George H.W. Bush)
"'Election interference' by one country into another is a subject that inspires speculation and conspiracy theory. David Shimer's Rigged establishes the facts: when and why have Russians and Americans meddled in the politics of other countries - and of one another. Based on a wide range of sources, this book is an excellent resource for people who want to know what actually happened, and not just what was rumored." (Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag)
“This pioneering and judicious history of foreign intervention in elections should be read by everyone who wants to defend democracy now.” (Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny)
Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.
Did not mention Fox "News" once
I listened to this book due to Hillary Clinton's recommendation on Twitter. I was appalled, disgusted and depressed to learn the extent to which the US used to interfere in other countries' elections (the book claims we have stopped; I'm skeptical). I would like to hear President Obama's opinion of the book, as he does not come off very well in it. The list at the end, of the 10 things we need to do as a nation to combat foreign election interference, is very good but I was disappointed that reinstating the Fairness Doctrine was not one of them, nor was there any plan for dealing with the malign effects of Fox "News." In fact Fox "News" was not mentioned at all, and so I knocked off a star for that. I have lost my parents and siblings to that propaganda channel, and it is a huge influence on them. None of them are on social media, which the book focuses on and perhaps rightly so, but to not even mention this mainstream source of Russian/Trumpian gaslighting is a glaring omission.
3 people found this helpful