Merchant of Death

Farah, Douglas; Braun, Stephan. Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible. New Jersey: Wiley, 2008.

Viktor Bout. The merchant of death. A phrase which made ??a fortune in the press.  And in the United Nations. And in different areas of international diplomacy. The man who, with a fleet of aircraft bigger than that of several NATO countries, would violate embargoes and sell weapons to both sides in dozens of armed conflicts.  Especially in Africa. Protected by the Russian government, even the U.S. government is rumoured to have made use of his services. And while NGOs called for an international campaign for a global arms trade treaty, the most famous arms dealer in the movie world  (think about, for example, The Lord of War), carried on cultivating friendships with African dictators and accumulating a huge personal fortune.

From the end of the Cold War to the present day, through the Balkan wars, African genocides, 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, his footprints are everywhere. The authors note that he was fortunate enough to intervene at a time when transnational threats were yet to be considered important enough by intelligence services, excessively attached to the realism of international relations which only considers actual States as stakeholders worthy of attention.

This book, written by two American journalists, experts in the field and with a prestigious curriculum, delves into available information to deliver a portrait which is quite faithful to reality: that of a terrifying figure, probably the best in its field and occupation. Death.