Haberman (2022), Galeotti (2022), and O’Kane (2022) among others are exemplars of the gangster genre of literary nonfiction
At a previous post I have highlighted Haberman (2022), Galeotti (2022), and O’Kane (2022) among other works of literary nonfiction. [1, 3]
After reading Haberman (2022), it has occurred to me that when we read such a well-written, well-sourced account of recent history, we are dealing with cartoon-like themes related to gangster literature, a genre I have previously highlighted at this website:
I have chosen three of the above-noted previous posts from years ago and share texts from (or related to) each of them below.
The post refers to a book by Masha Gessen entitled The Man Without a Face (2012).
A blurb for the latter study at the Toronto Public Library website notes:
Handpicked as a successor by the “family” surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin seemed like a perfect choice for the oligarchy to shape according to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had stood in the shadows, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and smashed the country’s fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.
James C. Scott (1972) argues that corruption, like violence, must be understood as a regular, repetitive, integral part of the operation of most political systems. It’s an interesting study. (Thieves of State (2016) – see below – addresses the same topic in a particularly well-organized, cogent manner.)
Gangster history is a subset of military history.
If you want to read about corruption I recommend Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security Paperback (2016) – a well-written, highly informative book; a blurb reads:
The world is blowing up. Every day a new blaze seems to ignite: the bloody implosion of Iraq and Syria; the East-West standoff in Ukraine; abducted schoolgirls in northern Nigeria. Is there some thread tying these frightening international security crises together? In a riveting account that weaves history with fast-moving reportage and insider accounts from the Afghanistan war, Sarah Chayes identifies the unexpected link: corruption.
Since the late 1990s, corruption has reached such an extent that some governments resemble glorified criminal gangs, bent solely on their own enrichment. These kleptocrats drive indignant populations to extremes – ranging from revolution to militant puritanical religion. Chayes plunges readers into some of the most venal environments on earth and examines what emerges: Afghans returning to the Taliban, Egyptians overthrowing the Mubarak government (but also redesigning Al-Qaeda), and Nigerians embracing both radical evangelical Christianity and the Islamist terror group Boko Haram. In many such places, rigid moral codes are put forth as an antidote to the collapse of public integrity.
The pattern, moreover, pervades history. Through deep archival research, Chayes reveals that canonical political thinkers such as John Locke and Machiavelli, as well as the great medieval Islamic statesman Nizam al-Mulk, all named corruption as a threat to the realm. In a thrilling argument connecting the Protestant Reformation to the Arab Spring, Thieves of State presents a powerful new way to understand global extremism. And it makes a compelling case that we must confront corruption, for it is a cause – not a result – of global instability.
Extremist Mindsets and Strategies (2021) by Clara S. Kim addresses similar themes; a blurb reads:
Presenting an analysis of modern-day extremism, this book explores how any group or movement – political, ideological, racial, ethnonational, religious, or issue-driven – can adopt an extremist mindset if they believe their existence or interests are threatened. Looking beyond “fringe” resistance groups already labeled as terrorists or subversives, the author examines conventional organizations – political parties, religious groups, corporations, interest groups, nation – states, police and the military-that deploy extremist strategies to further their agendas. A dynamic of mutual causation between conventional and resistance groups is argued: extremist resistance surfaces in response to oppressive measures by conventional powers to maintain their supremacy through systemic injustices, including slavery, caste systems, patriarchy, colonialism, autocracy, exploitive capitalism, and discrimination against minorities.
A related topic concerns crime and the prison system. As with all categories of information addressed at the current post, crime is a topic regarding which many ways of seeing are available. 
Class and status
Some years ago, I began to read about the British empire and gradually began to picture what the empire – and historiography related to it – was about. I began reading about the British empire because I wanted to learn more about an obscure British colonel who in 1797 built a log cabin at the western edge of what is now the City of Toronto. The cabin was torn down, the evidence indicates, in 1955. Many accounts claim, without evidence, that the cabin was torn down in 1952.
It’s easy to understand the reason for such a spread of misinformation regarding the date when some event in local history took place. Many people who write about local history like to repeat – without further thought or reflection – whatever they come across online or in a published source such as a book about local history in a public library. The idea that information about dates and the like would benefit from verification and corroboration is beyond the grasp of some of us.
A Dec. 7, 2020 EuropeNow article is entitled: “Britain’s Postcolonial Crisis: The Denial of Racism in Little England.”
An excerpt reads:
This essay is not about statues inasmuch as it is about the contemporary denial of racism in Britain. However, my argument is that it is the same logic that inspires so many people to view the British empire as being a philanthropic endeavor – as seen in their vehement defence of colonial statues – that also drives the view that Britain is not “racist” in the present day. In other words, there is an inherent connection between Britain’s “postcolonial melancholia” (Gilroy 2004), and the country’s commitment to post-racialism. I will demonstrate this argument by focusing on how representations of a benign, charitable British empire relate to the state’s exonerating themselves from any responsibility for the disproportionately high COVID-19 mortality rate for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) Brits in the present day.
A Nov. 29, 2013 Independent article is entitled: “Revealed: How British Empire’s dirty secrets went up in smoke in the colonies: Thousands of confidential papers were destroyed as British rule neared its end in many colonies.”
A June 29, 2015 New Yorker article is entitled “The Great Divide: The violent legacy of Indian Partition.”
The article notes:
The question of how India’s deeply intermixed and profoundly syncretic culture unravelled so quickly has spawned a vast literature. The polarization of Hindus and Muslims occurred during just a couple of decades of the twentieth century, but by the middle of the century it was so complete that many on both sides believed that it was impossible for adherents of the two religions to live together peacefully. Recently, a spate of new work has challenged seventy years of nationalist mythmaking. There has also been a widespread attempt to record oral memories of Partition before the dwindling generation that experienced it takes its memories to the grave.