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The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth About Globalization, Corporate Cons, and High Finance Fraudsters [Hardcover]

Greg Palast
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Feb 2002
'The journalist I admire most. [Palast's] amazing work puts all the rest of us journalists to shame. I'm an avid reader of everything Palast writes - can never get enough of it.' George Monbiot, The Guardian

'The information is a hand grenade.' John Pilger

'Fucking brilliant brilliant.' Mark Thomas

'The raw material is so good and the stories told with such brio.'
Larry Elliot, The Guardian

Award-winning investigative journalist Greg Palast digs deep to unearth the ugly facts that few reporters working anywhere in the world today have the courage or ability to cover. From East Timor to Waco, Karachi to Santiago, he has exposed some of the most egregious cases of political corruption, corporate fraud, and financial manipulation, globally. His uncanny investigative skills as well as his acerbic wit and no-holds-barred style have made him an anathema among magnates on four continents and a living legend among his colleagues and his devoted readership, worldwide.

This exciting new collection brings together some of Palast's most powerful and influential writing of the past decade. His columns in the Observer have a cult following and he made headline news when he went undercover for the Observer to break open the 'Lobbygate' scandal of corruption inside the Blair Cabinet. Included here are his reports on that story, which earned him the distinction of being the first journalist ever to be personally attacked on the floor of Parliament by a prime minister; his celebrated Washington Post exposé on Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris's stealing of the presidential election in Florida, which made him "a legend and a hero on the Internet" (Alan Colmes / Fox Radio) when it ran in Salon.com; and recent stories on George W. Bush's pay-offs to corporate cronies, and the business-created 'energy crisis.' Also included in this volume are new and previously unpublished material, television transcripts, photographs, and letters.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press; Underlining edition (20 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745318460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745318462
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 556,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy contains Greg Palast's greatest hits, and that means some of the biggest stories and scandals in recent memory. Palast is an internationally recognised expert on the control of corporate power who previously worked with labour unions and consumer groups in the US, South America and Europe investigating corporate corruption. Since then he has become a journalist whose investigative reports for the BBC and The Observer are all but banned in the US but that nevertheless pick up awards by the dozen.

The book opens with his report on how Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris allegedly stole the 2000 election for Bush by illegally removing African-Americans from voter rolls. This take-no-prisoners opener sets the tone for much of the book. It is followed by his report claiming that Bush killed off the FBI's investigation of the bin Laden family prior to the September 11 attack-–for which he was awarded the California State University's Project Censored Prize for a report too hot for US media.

The heart of the book is about the institutionalised economic criminal activity that is part and parcel of the politics of globalisation. Palast portrays the IMF, the World Bank and the assorted group of agencies as institutions that "dream up, then dictate, the terms of the new international economics" to create what he describes as "the Golden Straitjacket" of globalisation. He produces vivid case studies from across the globe to challenge even the most paranoid of conspiracy theorists. On the whole, the book claims to show that economic "assistance plans" presided over by these institutions amount to a (so far) guaranteed sentence of economic damnation.

As much has been published elsewhere; there is little new here and Palast's strident style can sometimes obscure the finer points of analyses. But this is an in-your-face book with a powerful call to action that will outrage and energise many of its readers. --Larry Brown --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


'... excellent book...' -- Brian Reade, the Mirror

'For Palast, investigative journalism is the only real journalism; the rest is PR.' -- Larry Elliot, The Guardian

'His informative, passionate writings on the World Bank, IMF and WTO ... provide a powerful reposte to the 'slap-happy view of globalisation''. -- Mike Marqusee, the Independent

'This is a great book, an essential book. Greg Palast is the most important investigative journalist of his time ... Hats off, Greg: You're the boss.' -- Tribune

'[This book] should have Palast's name up there with Woodward and Bernstein. Probably the easiest uneasy read of the year.' -- Guardian Unlimited

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
You read the papers and you watch television, so you know the kind of spider-brained, commercially poisoned piece-of-crap reporting you get in America. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Ok, we all knew that Bush couldn't have won the election without some shenanigans, but Greg Palast blows the lid off corruption on a scale that's hard to imagine. How he got through all the red tape and obstructions put up to stop him getting at the truth is amazing.
When he then shows how corrupt are the people in Blair's close circles, you stop feeling secure in anything. Top that with the machinations of the IMF and World Bank in Latin America, the big business at the heart of political decision making
and you want to move somewhere far away, like Alaska. Except that the Exxon Valdez got there first. Read this book - it shows the world as it is, not as they like you to believe it is.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The buzzing of business 5 Jan 2006
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
Years ago, we watched, through blurred vison, Peter Sellers in Doctor Strangelove. The blurring was either from the hilarity or the grief the film inspired. The dialogue could double us over with mirth, while the story directly confronted us with our mortality and that control of our fate resided with such devious leaders. Greg Palast evokes an identical response. He chronicles the stolen election of the world�s most powerful leader, how the International Monetary Fund and World Band exercise immense control over national destinies, and how the rich increase their influence and income at our expence. He keeps us charmed with his wit, while reminding us of our near-helplessness in the face of mighty, but hidden, forces.
Every essay in this collection jolts the reader. It�s like turning over a rock or breaking open a rotten log - the ugly grubs exposed bring revulsion and dismay. How does life produce such distasteful creatures? Palast exposes the putrid path of the Bush dynasty, the betrayal of the British voters by "New Labour" and the intrigues of international corporations in Asia, Africa, Latin America. How, he asks, do we allow these people to gain their ascendancy over our lives? One answer lies within our favourite ideal community - the small, rural, American town. There, he notes, avaricious investors have overturned local attempts to retain their values to instil the symbols of corporate enterprise These blights on our landscape are made welcome - "they boost the economy"!
Palast�s concluding set of essays, how the Blair government sold out the British populace would bring tears to the hardiest. He shows how corporate executives and their agents have become an "arm of government" in policy making and implemetation.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant....but scary ! 20 Aug 2003
Greg Palast manages to expose the total lack of principles and the total domination of self-interest within the world of politics and big business (the bigger the better it seems !).
The scary things are:-
1. Why do these people get away with it ?
2. If they are this cynical in their methods, what will stop them doing whatever they want in future without retribution ?
3. If Palast is being discredited, why have they never taken him to court over these stories ? (i think I know that one !).
Read this book to open your eyes ! Vote accordingly !
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and Brilliant 12 Oct 2002
By "talba"
Greg Palast is a hero fighting at the front line. He is fighting to uncover the sordid truth behind the corporate world and the very unhealthy relationships between politicians and "big business".
His work is documented and his evidence irrefutable.
He conclusively shows how corporate greed, under leadership and cover of the IMF and World Bank, is tearing apart South America and developing economies. If that is not bad enough, he shows how the same tactics are being deployed in advanced nations too!
He shows that the struggle between the "haves" and "have-nots" is not between countries but between a small group of fabulously wealthy individuals and the rest of humanity.
The disturbing thing about this book is that it shows that the world is so open and vulnerable to such exploitation and plundering, thanks to the complicity of politicians. Every time a politician talks about "market forces", be afraid - be very afraid!
What can we do to resist?! A good start would be to read this book. At least we will be better informed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading 6 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This is an interesting, thought provoking, and occasionally amusing book in the by a writer with a similar view of the world to Michael Moore. Some of the content of the book, e.g. how Bush stole the election, covers the same ground as Moore, but in more detail. As a British reader i found the section on Blair's complicity in much of the Bush/big business love-in interesting and disturbing, though unfortunately not surprising. The only critisism of the book is that it concentrates a little too much on America, but i suppose that is where the story is. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book That Everyone Should Read 4 Jun 2003
By A Customer
This book really opens your eyes to what politicians give priority to.......namely keeping themselves in power. Palast makes many damning accusations against the Republican and Democrat parties in the US and also the practices of 'New Labour' he then goes on to discuss the gross abuse by the World Bank and IMF where dealing with developing nations.
What I find interesting in all this is that, to my knowledge, no-one has ever brought a liable case against either the publisher or author........what does that tell you?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Greg is addictive.
Dynamite wrapped in Christmas paper.
Published 1 month ago by Mary Finean
4.0 out of 5 stars Grim but very interesting
Really badly written (what - no editor?) but once you get into the rhythm of the book it very interesting and engaging. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lazy Shopper
5.0 out of 5 stars WORLD CLASS
A must read for ALL. A wake up call, almost unbelievable, sadly true. Palast must be best the investigative journalist of all time.
Published 18 months ago by regwhiffin
1.0 out of 5 stars Spare Us!
Any book with endorsements by Pilger, Monbiot and Hutton (all of whom make an extremely good living on the back of the systems they decry) is going to be pretty predictable. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Cliff Fiscal
5.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener if a Little Self-Indulgent
Although a Brit and I like to keep abreast of current affairs I must confess to not having heard of Greg Pallast before I read this book. Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2012 by Trevor Molyneux
5.0 out of 5 stars great condition very happy
Great book, I have read other books by this person and saw this. Would recommend it. Let your mind be opened
Published on 1 Mar 2012 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A very disturbing world indeed!
This book contains very important information, some of it I knew already, some I didn't but all in all it was a good read. My only problem is Greg Palast's writing style. Read more
Published on 12 Dec 2011 by Francisca
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb & thought provoking look at the 2000 US election
Palast takes a thorough & genuine reporter's approach to one of the most blatant bits of fraud ever pulled. Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2008 by CJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
Investigative reporter Greg Palast is one of a kind. He delights in stinging big business and bulky government with facts both would prefer to ignore. Read more
Published on 1 Mar 2004 by Rolf Dobelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Care about democracy? Care about anything?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes not only should you read this book you should try to get everybody you know to read it too. Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2003 by Gary Crilly
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