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The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth About Globalization, Corporate Cons and High Finance Fraudsters Paperback – 27 Mar 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson; New Ed edition (27 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841197149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841197142
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

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

Review

Essential reading for anyone who feels that the principles which politicians constantly spout are being eroded by those very same people . . .a shocking exercise in investigation, this ought to be required reading. (Leon McDermott, Big Issue in Scotland)

Palast demands to be read. (The Good Book Guide)

Those in authority will not agree, but we need more Greg Palasts (Will Hutton)

The information is a hand grenade (John Pilger)

The journalist I admire the most. I'm an avid reader of everything Palast writes - can never get enough of it (George Monbiot)

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Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 20 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on 6 Oct. 2003
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
This book should be a must read by law, it is absolutly fantastic. I literally have sleep deprevation from not putting the book down. Im not any revoultionary yet
after reading the book i just wanted to storm parliament. Anyone who finds the modern view that "greed is good" should seriously take a look at the horrors in this book. My one bit of advise dont read the book all at once, you'll get so mad you wont calm down for at least a couple of days
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Format: Paperback
This book is most likely to appeal to those who consider themselves already among the politically cynical, and within the "anti-globalisation" groupings. But, whatever your political stance, I urge you to read it.
Palast deals with some of the most important issues facing us today, and, significantly, he backs up his position with detailed evidence, including quotations and admissions from some of those involved. This takes the debate to a whole new level.
For example, you may well have heard about how Bush "stole" the last US election - you certainly will have done if you have read "Stupid White Men". But here you will see absolutely hard evidence of the deliberate, conniving scam that took place - and which no one seems to care about. Palast's revelations are absolutely extraordinary. He "follows the money" and discovers hard proof about scandals, greed and bribery from the Florida election, to the Californian energy crisis to our own shores in the UK.
Rest assured that what he writes about will affect YOU.
You may not yet be in the situation of those in Bolivia who are protesting in the streets, but your schools, hospitals and other public services will be affected by the trends he wries about.
The media tends to ignore many of these stories. This book gives you the chance to read about what the mainstream media don't have the courage to print. TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY!
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Format: Paperback
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.
Everybody knows that politicians are dodgy characters to put it mildly (and after reading this it's hard to keep it mild - I want to scream these "expletive deleted"s are taking the piss) but the extent of their outrages and the contempt they show for the public is truly shocking.
This is not an anti-Rebublican rant. The collusion of the Democrats in much of the immoral and often downright criminal activity outlined here is apparent and Bill Clinton's behaviour is possibly more reprehensible because the man doesn't have George Bush's excuse of limited intelligence.
Neither is it anti-American. It is a condemnation of the abuse of power and so focuses on the powerful, this means primarily America.
The UK does not come out of this well and Mr Blair's supine acquiescence to the desires of the powerful whether political or financial is both frustrating and embarrassing for me as a UK citizen.
The book is very readable, the writing style is humorous which is no mean feat considering the subject matter. If Palast is sometimes guilty of an emotional subjectivity then I think that is the rational response of any human being to the facts he presents.
Reading this book may not change your life, but it should.
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Format: Paperback
"I 'debriefed' Stiglitz over several days--at Cambridge University, in a London hotel and finally in Washington during a big confab of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in April 2001...The ultimate insider was now on the outside. In 1999 the World Bank fired Stiglitz... US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, I'm told, demanded a public excommunication for Stiglitz's having expressed his first mild dissent from globalization World Bank-style...In Washington [Stiglitz and I] talked about the real often hidden, workings of the IMF, World Bank and the bank's 51 percent owner, the US Treasury..."
Greg Palast
THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY
From Chapter Four: "Sell the Lexus, Burn the Olive Tree"
When one reads past the first chapter that uncovers both the total sham of our last election and the corrupt nature of the American press in BEST DEMOCRACY by Greg Palast, you suffer the feelings of total outrage and deep-seated grief at what our country the USA has actually become. But long before you finish the book you will realize the bitter irony in the mesage of the religious fundamnetalists and their patient wait for the second coming: the anti-Christ is actually the patron saint of their beliefs, AND AS SUCH HE IS HERE.
"Mary Frances Betty, chairperson of the US Civil Rights Commission, said the real horror of the 2000 election was not the vote count that so transfixed our media, but what she calls 'the no-count'--THE MEANS OF KEEPING CITIZENS FROM VOTING OR HAVING THEIR BALLOTS VOIDED. And Florida used more than the voter purge in their 'no-count' bag of tricks. In February 2001, I found a doozy...In a preidential race decided by 537 votes, Florida simply DID NOT COUNT 179,855 ballots. And whether your vote counted depended a lot on your color...
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