The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth about Globalization, Corporate Cons, and High Finance Fraudsters

Greg Palast (Author)


Greg Palast digs deep to unearth the ugly facts that few reporters working anywhere in the world today have the courage or ability to cover. From East Timor to Waco, Karachi to Santiago, he has exposed some of the most egregious cases of political corruption, corporate fraud, and financial manipulation, globally. His uncanny investigative skills as well as his acerbic wit and no-holds-barred style have made him an anathema among magnates on four continents and a living legend among his colleagues and his devoted readership, worldwide. This exciting new collection brings together some of Palast's most powerful and influential writing of the past decade. His columns in the Observer have a cult following and he made headline news when he went undercover for the Observer to break open the 'Lobbygate' scandal of corruption inside the Blair Cabinet. Included here are his reports on that story, which earned him the distinction of being the first journalist ever to be personally attacked on the floor of Parliament by a prime minister; his celebrated Washington Post expose on Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris's stealing of the presidential election in Florida, which made him "a legend and a hero on the Internet" (Alan Colmes / Fox Radio) when it ran in; and recent stories on George W. Bush's pay-offs to corporate cronies, and the business-created 'energy crisis.' Also included in this volume are new and previously unpublished material, television transcripts, photographs, and letters.

Product Details

Pluto Press (UK)
Publish Date
April 20, 2002
6.32 X 0.69 X 9.3 inches | 0.97 pounds
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About the Author

Greg Palast is an investigative journalist whose articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Nation,, and numerous other US, British, and international newspapers, magazines, and online publications. He writes the Inside Corporate America column for The Observer and is joining BBC-TV's premier news broadcast, Newsnight, as special investigations reporter. He is the winner of the prestigious Financial Times David Thomas Prize, in 1997 and the Industrial Society Investigative Story of the Year, in 1998. He has also been nominated by the UK Press Association as Business Writer of the Year in 1999. In 2000, selected his report on the US elections as politics story of the year. He has been the subject of several documentaries, an NPR profile, and an upcoming 60 Minutes feature.


"Buy it to support Palast's work (proceeds will underwrite his research). Read it to inform yourself, since the establishment press seems determined not to let you in on who is doing what to whom (unless it's something like Monica and Bill - a comparatively trivial story Palast skips entirely). Share it. Talk about it. Ask for it at the public library to make sure they order it." -- Baltimore Chronicle"Many of Palast's articles explore territory that will be familiar to readers of the "Nation," among other alternative publications. But his Inside Corporate America column in the "Observer" is a reminder of what is lacking from the business pages of America's leading newspapers -- namely, critical, in-depth coverage of big business." -- San Francisco Bay Guardian"Filmmaker Michael Moore's rant against Dubya and clan, "Stupid White Men," remains among the top five New York Times bestsellers, despite a virtual press blackout. But much of the guts for Moore's opening screed on how Bush "stole" the 2000 election came from investigative reporter Greg Palast, whose own book, "The Best Money Democracy Can Buy," has fast become a cult fave among progressives. Palast styles himself as the dogged outsider, a former working-class gumshoe from L.A. now reporting on corporate America for the BBC and The Guardian, unable to secure a regular gig from U.S. media firms wary of his impolitic exposis. Hence his book, which strings together his award-winning reports on everything from the Florida election debacle to the role of the IMF in crashing Argentina's economy, is as much a portrait of how our profit-addicted American media ignores hard news. In sold-out appearances, Palast has detailed how KatherineHarris and Jeb Bush swung the Florida election by purging tens of thousands of eligible voters - mostly blacks - using electronically generated "scrub lists" produced by a Texas firm paid millions to screen out felons, yet not required to verify the accuracy of its data. Florida's use of an outside firm to in effect privatize voting rights plays into Palast's central theme: how corporate power is riding roughshod over democracy. From the "cash for access" scandal that rocked Tony Blair's government in Britain to the revolving door between Monsanto and the FDA that led to the flood of BST growth hormone in America's milk supplies, Palast lays bare patterns of corruption so sadly commonplace. Palast's problem is that he unearths such juicy information without following up in greater detail (see for updates). In one short chapter, he argues that prior to September 11, Bush spiked FBI and CIA investigations of the bin Laden family and alleged Saudi funding of terror networks because of the Bushes' cozy relationship to the Saudis via companies like Arbusto Energy and the Carlyle Group. Given the current flap about what the Bush administration knew about Al Qaeda threats, one wishes Palast had explored these connections further. But his book provides a road map for other journalists, and he's donating the proceeds to a fund for investigative reporting. Let's hope more DIY muckrakers heed the call" -- Village Voice "Muckraking has a long and stories tradition, and Palast is evidently proud to be part of it. in this polemical indictment of globalization and political corruption, Palast (a reporter with the BBC and London's Observer) updates the muckraking tradition with some21st century targets: the IMF, World Banks and WTO, plus oil treaties, energy concerns and corporate evildoers of all creeds. Some of Palast's reports are downright shocking... There is much of value here." -- Publishers Weekly"Palast distinguishes himself from many other advocacy journalist, both left and right with his near obsession with documentary evidence - memos, correspondence, e-mail, briefing reports and raw data, much of it stamped "Confidential" - and his painstaking research methods. Palast's most recent splash (is) his expose on how Florida purged its voting rolls before the 2000 election in a way that almost certainly gave the White House to George W. Bush. It's not about chads or overvotes or butterfly ballots. It's about citizens denied their right to vote in a process that seemed designed to target mostly Democrats. And it was Palast's first-hand research, detailed in the opening chapter, that everyone, even the US Commission on Civil Rights, followed." -- Chicago Tribune" The last of the great journalists." -- C-Span TV"Wow. Investigative reporting like this hasn't been seen in America for many years. No major media outlet is willing to expend the time and effort needed, and that is a shame. This book is brilliant, it's incredible, it shows just how wimpy most of the American news media really is, and I can't recommend it highly enough." -- Midwest Book Review"It is disheartening for a nation to proclaim itself as the leader of democracy and yet have thousands of its citizens enter the 21st Century denied the same rights they were denied 300 years ago. If justice does not come from our Justice Department, it may have to come in the form of private lawsuits." --Herald-Leader, Lexington, KY" Great writing on the evil empire of the IMF." -- Jude Wanniski, former editorial page editor, Wall St JournalSome Comments on Greg Palast's writings: "The journalist I admire most. [Palast's] amazing work puts all the rest of us journalists to shame. I'm an avid reader of everything Palast writes - can never get enough of it." -- George Monbiot, The Guardian "To Americans who cannot read his stories printed in Britain's Observer, he is America's journalist hero of the Internet." -- Alan Colmes, Fox Television network "The Liar! Sleaze Reporter!" -- Daily Mirror headline "[Palast's reports] created shockwaves which have yet to die ... outstanding journalism." -- Industrial Society, for investigative story of the year. "Your reports should be read all over America." -- Andrew Tobias, bestselling author "The Most Evil Man in the World." -- Private Eye Magazine "All power to Palast's pen!" -- Will Hutton, author, "The State We're In." "Tony Blair's nightmare." -- From Harper's & Queen Magazine profile "George Bush's nightmare." --- Laura Flanders, Counterspin "The type of investigative reporter you don't see anymore - a cross between Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes." - Radio host Jim Hightower "Fabulous stories." -- Harry Evans, US News & World Report; former Editor, Sunday Times "The information is a hand grenade." -- John Pilger, columnist, New Statesman"[Palast's reports are] hearsay and misinformation." -- Official spokeman, International Monetary Fund. "Great writing on the Evil Empire of the IMF." -- Jude Wanniski, former Editorial page Editor, Wall Street Journal "Courageous writing - when no one else will do it." Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians "AnAmerican hero in journalism." -- "The world's greatest investigative reporter."-- Cleveland Free Times "Intrepid investigative reporter who first broke the news that tens of thousands of likely Democratic voters were disenfranchised in Florida before the 2000 election." -- US Journalism Hall of Fame (with Edward R. Murrow) Financial Times David Thomas Prize 1997 Industrial Society, Investigative story of the year 1998 Business Journalist of the Year (UK Press Assoc Nomination 1999) Politics story of the Year 2000.."read Greg Palast's book. He astonishes with how much momentous news is not being reported, even in most serious newspapers." -- The Texas Observer
'The journalist I admire most. [Palast's] amazing work puts all the rest of us journalists to shame. I'm an avid reader of everything Palast writes - can never get enough of it.' --George Monbiot, The Guardian 'The information is a hand grenade.' --John Pilger 'Fucking brilliant brilliant.' --Mark Thomas 'The raw material is so good and the stories told with such brio.' --Larry Elliot, The Guardian Award-winning investigative journalist