Democrazy, version 2020 by Elizabeth Graham, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker



The author attended a presentation I made at the Arizona Professional Writers Group in August, and I participated in a presentation she made to the same group’s “Book Club” the next month, which offered an excellent opportunity to get acquainted. Her book helped connect the dots between several circumstances around past President Trump many Americans, and I wondered about: The stunning comment he made at the Helsinki Conference where he ignored his own intelligence community’s reports of Russian involvement in our elections because Putin said it was a lie. And then the impact of Trump working with and borrowing money from some of Putin’s oligarchs for such projects as a Trump Tower in SoHo (New York) and Trump’s potential interaction with Russian prostitutes who work for Putin in a Moscow hotel room.

She brings a unique perspective on Putin and Russia: “My work with the CIA was extremely clandestine, top-secret clearance.  My father worked there, and he wanted me in his office – so by the ripe ole age of 16, I had a top-secret clearance. I graduated from HS (high school) in 1962 and went to work there while I attended college and afterward. The very last meeting I had with CIA personnel was in Scottsdale in 2014—50 plus years later.”

She lived in the former Soviet Union, soon to become Russia, for twenty years, and two of her children attended Moscow Public Schools. She’s also an excellent cross-cultural communicator and speaks Russian and Ukrainian, among other Cyrillic-based languages. She worked with Science Applications International Corporation and the largest “Russian Language Data Base” in the U.S. as a manager for twelve years. She told me of her first-hand experience with Russia’s operations and the Russian daily infiltration of the U.S. As she put it, “I bring a different perspective on Russia and Putin than the “Russian Experts” in DC who have spent time in Russia as an ex-pat and consider themselves “well informed.”

The author went on to describe why she wrote the book and some of the most salient points she wanted to make:

As for the lack of understanding within the U.S., people here are not only naive about how the world operates but also isolated.  My book discusses how so many Americans – especially Republicans – were brainwashed.  I explained how Hitler’s brainwashing began in totalitarian countries and was used to convert an entire nation of peaceful people into a hateful and violent society that killed over six million human beings.  Putin spent all his “spy years” living and working in Germany.  He speaks German fluently and fully grasped Hitler’s methods of mind manipulation. Along came Trump, who used the same type of mind-altering methods used by Hitler and Putin – repeating lies and hatred over and over.


 In 2020, hate crimes and violence in the U.S. increased by 30% in one year – the highest percentage jump ever.  By this time, Trump had already been caught in a typical Putin/Russia spy trap due to professional prostitutes working for Putin (probably when he went to Russia in the 1990s trying to open a signature hotel.)  He came back to the U.S. from a trip to Russia and said to a friend, “you need to go to Russia; the girls there have no morals” – almost an admission of guilt or due to his lack of financial management (he filed four bankruptcies and U.S. banks refused to loan him money – so he turned to Russia) and his being in bed with a long list of Russians on many, many business deals as far back as 1990. Putin and his KGB buddies needed new ways to launder black cash into the U.S. instead of just using banks – and along came inexperienced and ignorant Trump with his crooked business deals – a KGB textbook perfect example.


Putin is an international mob boss, and if those on his chain do not do what he requests – they or a member of their family die – it’s a replay of the good ole Al Capone days – torture and murder.  Ivana Trump’s death was probably NOT an accident but a warning to Trump.  I could go on and on, but the book explains in detail and provides a chart outlining “how Trump was associated with Russians (all KGB), was groomed for years, and then nailed.”


Most Americans do NOT grasp anything outside of their neighborhoods. Russia is the opposite of the U.S., and it took me many years to be bi-cultural so that I looked like, spoke, and dressed Russian. Russians think 3-dimensional, while Americans think 2-dimensional.  Americans are just plain way behind in the world of scheming and corruption on an international scale.


While Americans were told the Cold War era was over and we are now living in the age of international cooperation, the Cold War never ended for Russian leaders, especially Putin, who spent his entire life as a KGB spy hating the United States. He blames the U.S. for the fall of the Soviet Union and will do just about anything to destroy our democracy – including putting Trump in power.  Trump sold his soul – and our country – to the devil when he became involved with Russians.  His desperate need to maintain control of the Presidency was probably due to his relationship with Putin – since this was potentially Trump’s only safety net.


The author includes an article from the July issue of “The Moscow Times” which Graham says describes similarities between Hitler, Stalin, Putin, and Trump:

 At the same time, he (Putin) is as banal as the dictators and autocrats of the 20th century — these dictators all fostered the cult of the leader, relied on the indifference and obedience of the masses, deified the state, maintained a cult of strength, militarism and heroic death, confused themselves with the state, built an autarkic economic model, often surviving by extracting rents from resource dependence. They also refused on principle to allow a rotation of power, fought against “national traitors,” imprisoned their opponents, imposed censorship, and sought to rule forever.

I was surprised to learn that one of the significant reasons the author wrote the book was in response to the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, “Like so many others across the U.S. and around the world, my gut response was disbelief, outrage, and blind fury. The news replayed his death over and over and over… There is a malevolent tragedy playing out in our country, and now—finally—spectators are recording these murders.”

She highly recommends and quotes Robin DeAngelo’s White Fragility, a book about Why it’s so hard for White People to Talk about Racism, “Race is an evolving social idea created to legitimize racial inequality and protect white advantage…” and quotes expatriate writer Richard White. who said, “There isn’t any Negro problem; there is only a White problem.” As White pointed out, “racism against people of color doesn’t occur in a vacuum.”  She then explains how Trump and other Republican leaders have used mistrust and hatred to stoke their white supremacist base.

The subtitle on the book’s cover reflects the urgency the author feels, “A Warning to All U.S. Citizens: It Can Happen Here!!!  And the profile of the book is correct to point out that the book provides a “…distinctive view that she brings to this book on racism in America and our country’s recent brush with totalitarianism—a dictatorship based on rule by fear.”

The book is enhanced with humorous and insightful cartoons and includes “endnotes” and a bibliography. On the back cover of the most recent version is a letter to the author from President Biden on August 3rd, 2022 – “Your story is an integral part of the American story, and I am humbled that you shared it with me…Through trials and triumphs, we will always be a Nation where hope runs deep and optimism reigns. Folks like you remind me of that truth every day.” Keep the Faith, Sincerely, Joe Biden.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Graham has spent about twenty-five years living and working abroad—mainly in the Soviet Union, then Russia, and then the five countries of Central Asia. She had also served as a consultant in the war-torn areas of Rwanda, Bosnia, and Afghanistan.

Product details

On Amazon, 4.9 out of 5 stars 


About the Reviewer


Mark D. Walker was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, 1971-73, working on fertilizer and seed experiments in the highlands. For over forty years, he worked with international agencies like MAP International, Hagar, and Make-A-Wish International.


He is a contributing writer at Literary Traveler, Wanderlust, and Revue Magazine. Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond was his memoir, soon followed by, My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road. Two of his 25 articles were recognized by the Solas Literary Awards for Best Travel Writing, with a Bronze for “Travel Adventure.”  His wife and three children were born in Guatemala. Over 60 book reviews and 25 articles can be found on his website, www.MillionMileWalker.

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