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Pigs at the Trough:
Arianna Huffington, popular pundit, columnist, and author, is not known for her polite criticisms or her carefully worded complaints. In the course of Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America, the corporate CEOs, accountants, politicians, and lobbyists at who she takes aim receive little relief from their porcine characterization first intimated in the book's title. And while she is full of invective for Enron's Kenneth Lay, Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski, Dick Cheney, and others, she backs up her outrage with dollar figures, dates, names, and specific information. The voluminous research is made more digestible by Huffington's direct and often amusing writing style (she characterizes a CEO's process of getting a loan approved by a corporate board as being akin to Tony Soprano getting a loan from Paulie Walnuts). Interspersed between chapters are entertainingly informative sidebars, including quizzes on executives' avarice and games where you match the CEO to his yacht. Occasionally, Huffington's anger gets mired in name-calling, which deflates her points. And while she spends ample time and space outlining the particulars of a flawed power structure, she dedicates little time to offering practical solutions toward remedying the problems. But Huffington is not trying to write a political science textbook or a party platform. As a highly readable indictment of corporate and governmental excess, Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America is highly successful. --John Moe [via]