Dark Quadrant: Organized Crime, Big Business, and the Corruption of American Democracy

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Product Details

$29.95  $27.85
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.54 pounds

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About the Author

Jonathan Marshall is an investigative historian and award-winning journalist who has published five previous non-fiction books. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and a variety of scholarly journals. He lives in San Anselmo, California.


For those who wish to gain an intimate knowledge of the nexus among organized crime, business, and politics, Dark Quadrant is a fascinating and jolting journey into the abyss. There is something for everyone--the organized crime buff, the political scientist, and most certainly, the historian who often gives short shrift to the invisible hand. Simply put, money now and forever has and will rule American politics. The evidence marshalled here proves the case beyond any doubt.

Investigative journalist Jonathan Marshall's Dark Quadrant: Organized Crime, Big Business, and the Corruption of American Democracy might be the first serious examination of the influence of moneyed interests on our elections and on public policy. . . . Marshall's unsparing history begins with Harry Truman and works its sobering way to our own time.

Corruption in government has been a problem for as long as there have been governments. Here, journalist and historian Marshall takes a look at the problem as it applies to modern American government. Few will doubt the premise that corruption has always been a factor in American politics to some extent, but the assumption has also been that it has been kept (somewhat) in check by the assiduous effort of American law enforcement. Marshall's historical examination reveals that, since the mid-twentieth century, political corruption has been widespread thanks to the efforts of organized crime and the largesse of big business. The influence of organized crime has been largely staunched, but, in recent decades, changes in laws have allowed the proliferation of corrupt cash in American government, threatening the function of modern democracy--as readers who followed the news during recent elections have seen. Marshall's detailed analysis paints a distressing picture, but hopefully also provides a useful roadmap to the idealized future envisioned by reformers seeking to genuinely drain the swamp.

A unique blend of magma-deep research, dramatic revelations, and judicious conclusions. Marshall tells some frequently gobsmacking tales while steadily keeping his eye on the larger historical context. Readers will come away with an enlarged sense of the meaning and methods of corruption--and with a fresh perspective on what makes modern America tick.

A deeply troubling history of corruption in the United States, from Truman's presidency to Trump's. Marshall charts the 'swamp' that Trump fatuously claimed he would drain, exposes the fetid reality, and warns that it is a cancer in the heart of democracy.

Jonathan Marshall's newest couldn't be more timely. As America struggles to hold together its fragile democracy, many wonder how this could be happening. Marshall skillfully reminds us that we should have seen it all coming, showing how we have ignored the 'dark quadrant' of systemic political corruption for far too long. Everyone must read the deeply researched, sobering Dark Quadrant and decide for themselves if it's finally time to get serious about corruption in America.

Jonathan Marshall, a courageous and respected investigative historian, explores our country's corruption in the latter part of the twentieth century. He then documents how corruption became more sophisticated in the twenty-first century and, via the rise of the corrupt and dishonest Donald Trump, jeopardized America's basic institutions, as well as our fundamental rights and freedoms. . . . Marshall has given America a wake-up call.

Jonathan Marshall's new book . . . effectively challenges this narrative [of a golden age of U.S. democracy] and the myth of the 'greatest generation.' The book details the largely neglected story of how well-protected criminals organized the corruption of U.S. politics and business at a national level after World War II. . . . The presidents featured in Dark Quadrant . . . ultimately governed in the interests of their corporate and mob-linked donors, betrayed democratic values, and corroded the nation's moral fabric. With a new Cold War heating up, U.S. leaders now strive to present U.S. global leadership as necessary to save the world from Russian and Chinese autocracy. Marshall's study reminds us, however, that the United States evolved after World War II as a corrupted dollarocracy. Its rhetoric about promoting democracy around the world as such rings hollow.