If the two seminal works by Eric Arthur Blair (née, George Orwell) Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm established the theory of political systems gone awry, then Leashes of Dogwood Hollow by Gordon Ryan can be defined as the guide to the practical aspects of dysfunctional municipal administration. When Gordon asked me to illustrate the cover of Leashes, I asked to see the book for ideas on capturing the story. After reading it, I purchased my own copy because I wanted to be a bona fide purchaser for purposes of commenting on this great story (Ryan does not know that I am writing this review). Orwell warned us about governmental systems that enslave rather than serve their constituents. Ryan now warns of how rampant careerism at the government level can cause more harm on unsuspecting citizens. In Leashes of Dogwood Hollow, purebred canines rule the town and the machinations of the book's various characters lend a unique canine perspective to the mannerisms and manipulations that we unfortunately see in both municipal and corporate life. Underscoring Ryan's premise, the real-life elected and appointed officials of Bell, California, in the United States recently came to our attention in a flood of alleged corruption and malfeasance on a massive scale. What was alleged to have happened in Bell is of an order of magnitude that surpasses even the storyline in Leashes. Leashes of Dogwood Hollow is a great read and I highly recommend it to all students of government.
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