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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
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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
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Every essay in this collection jolts the reader. Itï¿½s 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"!
Palastï¿½s 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.Read more ›
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.
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 !
Where I feel the book is stumbles is Greg Palast's writing style. While it is a feature of his writing and makes the book entertaining, the emotive innuendo's can become a bit too much and sometimes just a little abrasive, especially when trying to get sceptical readers to take in what he is saying. Also, a lot of what Palast states, which I don't doubt is true myself, has to be taken on face value. Apart from a few pages of documents there isn't anything else available in the form of references. If this kind of journalism is to be taken seriously and indeed, if it is to be quoted, we need to be able to back up our sources. Just saying "Greg said so" or "I saw it in the guardian" is not enough if you want to be taken credibly. I would have liked to have seen an online reference, as in Chomsky's - Understanding Power. As it stands it is difficult to counter anyone who refuses to believe what this book offers.
All the same, if you are comfortable with these negative points I think we would all do well to take in what Greg Palast has to say, now and in the future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a tough emotionally challenging book which dueled with all of my established and secure blocks my world stands on. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Manto
Possibly the scariest book I have read relating to modern, western politics today. Palast is a veteran at this and he digs deep here uncovering the dirt on the IMF, the World Bank,... Read morePublished on 26 Feb. 2015 by keen reader
Really badly written (what - no editor?) but once you get into the rhythm of the book it very interesting and engaging. Read morePublished on 17 July 2014 by Lazy Shopper
A must read for ALL. A wake up call, almost unbelievable, sadly true. Palast must be best the investigative journalist of all time.Published on 13 April 2013 by regwhiffin
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 morePublished on 11 Jan. 2013 by Cliff Fiscal
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 morePublished on 6 Aug. 2012 by Trevor
Great book, I have read other books by this person and saw this. Would recommend it. Let your mind be openedPublished on 1 Mar. 2012 by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on 12 Dec. 2011 by Francisca
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