On Corruption in America: And What Is at Stake

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Aug 11, 2020 - Political Science - 432 pages
From the prizewinning journalist and internationally recognized expert on corruption in government networks throughout the world comes a major work that looks homeward to America, exploring the insidious, dangerous networks of corruption of our past, present, and precarious future.
 
“If you want to save America, this might just be the most important book to read now." —Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains

 
Sarah Chayes writes in her new book, that the United States is showing signs similar to some of the most corrupt countries in the world. Corruption, she argues, is an operating system of sophisticated networks in which government officials, key private-sector interests, and out-and-out criminals interweave. Their main objective: not to serve the public but to maximize returns for network members.

In this unflinching exploration of corruption in America, Chayes exposes how corruption has thrived within our borders, from the titans of America's Gilded Age (Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, et al.) to the collapse of the stock market in 1929, the Great Depression, and FDR's New Deal; from Joe Kennedy's years of banking, bootlegging, machine politics, and pursuit of infinite wealth to the deregulation of the Reagan Revolution--undermining this nation's proud middle class and union members. She then brings us up to the present as she shines a light on the Clinton policies of political favors and personal enrichment and documents Trump's hydra-headed network of corruption, which aimed to systematically undo the Constitution and our laws.

Ultimately and most importantly, Chayes reveals how corrupt systems are organized, how they enable bad actors to bend the rules so their crimes are covered legally, how they overtly determine the shape of our government, and how they affect all levels of society, especially when the corruption is overlooked and downplayed by the rich and well-educated.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

While others diagnose our key political problem as monopoly, Chayes thinks that it’s corruption—which both aids and is aided by monopoly. With fewer specifics than I might have hoped for, Chayes ... Read full review

On Corruption in America: And What Is at Stake

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

In this sweeping and remarkably clear-eyed account, journalist Chayes (Thieves of State) explains how unethical behavior by high-ranking government officials and their associates has resulted in ... Read full review

Contents

Dismissing Corruption June 27 2016 نی
3
Midas
21
Jesus
34
Aristotle
44
Europe
59
The United States
71
The LateBorn Baron
82
Eight Mortal Heads
95
Tactics and Countermoves
171
Colluders
187
The Cities
201
The Countryside
217
It Had Needed a War
229
The Turning 1980s
247
The Validation 1980s1990s
258
Courting Calamity 1990s
269

The Scales
113
The Pen and the Mace
124
The Purse
133
Powers Sabotaged
144
Bowing to the Money Changers
157
Breaking the Pattern Now
285
Acknowledgments
307
Index
397
Illustration Credits
415
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2020)

SARAH CHAYES has served as special assistant on corruption to Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as having advised David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal (commanders of the International Security Assistant Force). She has been a reporter for National Public Radio from Paris, covering Europe and the Balkans. Chayes is the author of The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban and Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, winner of the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in Paw Paw, West Virginia.

Bibliographic information