Russian Roulette is a story of political skullduggery unprecedented in American history. It weaves together tales of international intrigue, cyber espionage, and superpower rivalry. After U.S.-Russia relations soured, as Vladimir Putin moved to reassert Russian strength on the global stage, Moscow trained its best hackers and trolls on U.S. political targets and exploited WikiLeaks to disseminate information that could affect the 2016 election.
The book does have its flaws. The simplistic vilification of Russia — without evidence or better context — reinforces the view of some thoughtful Russians that Americans have become irrationally hostile toward the country and even the culture. The sourcing is also sloppy in places. The authors are respected journalists, and one can trust their use of anonymous sources or not, but in the span of four pages describing the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, for example, they quote four different ones.
Russian Roulette is an engaging, smart but ultimately unsatisfying read ... It’s a challenge familiar to all writers of contemporary history and current affairs: How to construct a narrative that won’t be quickly dated and overtaken by events? How to weave a story, when you don’t know how it ends?