978-1-58567-049-9 / 9781585670499

The Corruption of American Politics: What Went Wrong and Why


Publisher:Overlook TP



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About the book:

Elizabeth Drew, longtime Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, provides an up-close look at the scandalous roots of America's political culture. With its focus on campaign-finance reform, The Corruption of American Politics is not a flashy read but a surprisingly engrossing one, full of vivid characterizations and sly observations (one senator, for example, is described as "unburdened by brilliance"). Drew places her subject in the larger context of what has happened to American political life since Watergate. The public has lost most of its faith in government, she writes, warning: "Lack of trust creates the risk of susceptibility to demagoguery, or of abuses of the democratic process." Her behind-the-scenes descriptions are a real strength--she has incredible access to Washington's movers and shakers--but they also give rise to a weakness: the politicians who double as sources tend to come off well, while the reverse is true for those who didn't invite Drew into their confidence. In addition, readers who lean conservative may detect a whiff of liberal bias on these pages; yet they need not agree with all of Drew's judgments to appreciate her journalism. For a glimpse at how Washington really works--from the naked partisanship of Congress to the White House spin machine--Elizabeth Drew is hard to beat. --John J. Miller

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