Pick up a newspaper anywhere, any day, and you will find reports of illegal migrants, drug busts, smuggled weapons, and laundered money or counterfeit goods. Illicit trades are booming and so are the traffickers' revenues-and their political influence. Hamstrung bureaucracies in rich and poor countries alike are losing the battles against these agile, well-financed, politically powerful, and ever-shifting networks of determined individuals. Religious and political zeal drive terrorists, but it turns out that simple profit is no less a motivator for political upheaval and international instability. Black-market networks are stealthily transforming global politics and economics. Filled with fast-paced, vivid examples that are as real as they are surprising, 'Illicit' shows how we got to this dangerous point-and stresses the interconnections between these illegal enterprises, how they endlessly recombine to breed new lines of business, distort the economy of entire countries and industries, enable terrorists and even take over governments. From pirated movies to weapons of mass destruction, from human organs to endangered species, drugs or stolen art, 'Illicit' reveals the inner workings of these amazingly efficient international organizations and shows why it is so hard-and so necessary-to contain them. 'Illicit' offers a vision of this untold story of globalization. It provides a new lens with which to assess how today's world really works and where it may be headed.