How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government--And How We Take It Back
By David Sirota
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780307237354, 384pp.)
Publication Date: May 22, 2007
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Do you ever wonder if there’s a connection between the corruption scandals in the news and the steady decline in the quality of life for millions of Americans?
Do you ever wonder what corporations get for the millions of dollars they pour into the American political system?
Do you ever think the government has been hijacked by forces hostile to average Americans?
Do you ever want to fight back?
Millions of Americans lack health care and millions more struggle to afford it. Politicians claim they care, then pass legislation that just sends more cash to the HMOs. Wages have been stagnant for thirty years, even as corporate profits skyrocket. Politicians say they want to fix the problem and then pass bills written by lobbyists that drive wages even lower and punish those crushed by debt. Jobs are being shipped overseas, pensions are being cut, and energy is becoming unaffordable. And our government, more concerned about maintaining its corporate sponsorship than protecting its citizens, does nothing about it.
In Hostile Takeover, David Sirota, a major new voice in American politics, seeks to open the eyes of ordinary Americans to the fact that corporate interests have undermined democracy, aided and abetted by their lackeys in our allegedly representative government. At a time when more and more of America’s major political leaders are being indicted or investigated for corruption, Sirota takes readers on a journey that shows how all of this nefarious behavior happened right under our noses—and how the high-profile scandals are merely one product of a political system and debate wholly owned by Big Money interests. Sirota considers major public issues that feel intractable—like spiraling health care costs, the outsourcing of jobs, the inequities of the tax code, and out-of-control energy prices—and shows how in each case workable solutions are buried under the lies of lobbyists, the influence of campaign cash, and the ubiquitous spin machine financed by Big Business.
With fiery passion, pinpoint wit, and lucid analysis, Hostile Takeover reveals the true enemies of reform and their increasingly sophisticated—and hostile—tactics. It’s an essential guidebook for those of us tired of the government selling us out—and determined to take our country back.
Also available as an eBook
David Sirota is a campaign strategist, political operative, and writer. Sirota has served as the press secretary for Independent Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and was recently a senior strategist for Brian Schweitzer, Montana’s first Democratic governor in sixteen years. He is a senior editor at In These Times, a regular contributor to The Nation, the blogger for Working Assets, and a twice-weekly guest on the Al Franken Show. Sirota is also the co-chairperson of the Progressive Legislative Action Network. He lives in Helena, Montana, with his wife.
“Hostile Takeover makes a strong case that American democracy is under attack. Every politically engaged citizen who wants to know what challenges we face and how we can rebuild our country’s democracy should read this book.” —Al Gore, former vice president of the United States
“Here are the horrifying facts about how our government works today—and for whom it works—delivered in a tone of outrage that is not only merited but appropriate. Read it and scream.” —Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter with Kansas?
“David Sirota is a genuine American hero: he speaks the truth—forcefully, courageously, straightforwardly—with no apologies, and with thorough documentation. This book is an invaluable guide to how the hostile takeover of our government affects you, and what you can do about it.” —George Lakoff, author of Don’t Think of an Elephant!
“A blunt, two-fisted attack that pulls back the covers on the cozy canoodling between corporations and our government. Sirota ferociously indicts politicians of both political parties for their shameless peddling of corporate PR.” —Arianna Huffington, author of Pigs at the Trough
“A precious handbook for citizens living in the country of anger and disgust. Read it and you will no longer feel powerless. You may begin to believe it’s possible for the people to reclaim their democracy. You may even decide to join the fight.” —William Greider, author of Who Will Tell the People and national affairs correspondent for The Nation
“Hostile Takeover is not for the Powers That Be, but for the Powers That Ought to Be—the ordinary grassroots people of our country. Use this book as a lesson plan and action plan for taking our government back.” —Jim Hightower, author of Thieves in High Places