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The Shadow Elite: The New Agents of Power and Influence Who Are Undermining Government, Free Enterprise, and Democracy

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  78 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Many people today feel that they're swimming in a sea of corruption. Who is really in charge? Why do the same people reappear under various professional identities, pressing a suspect agenda in one influential venue after another? According to award-winning public policy expert Janine Wedel, these are the "shadow elite," and they are both powerful and dangerous. In Shadow ...more
Adobe Digital Editions (.pdf), 0 pages
Published December 10th 2009 by Basic Books (first published 2009)
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Dav
May 04, 2010 Dav rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be unfortunately written in a style that was boring me to tears. I think she has an interesting story to tell, but she is not a good story teller. Central themes were repeated over and over again (I got it the 3rd time!). I also would have preferred less obvious bias. The facts speak strongly themselves without editorializing.

Would have been better as a magazine article series.
Smiley McGrouchpants
Janine Wedel's 2nd-most-recent book builds on, benefits from, and broadens her previous work: as time passes, the phenomena she's been observing since early-'80s pre-Solidarity Poland has grown into new, boundary-eroding shapes heretofore neither necessary, nor possible. NGOs [Non-Governmental Organizations, a commonplace acronym in influential circles which receives little traffic in mainstream media] seem to inhabit some shadow world of neither-here-nor-there — proliferating so much these days ...more
Louis Guevara
I think Wedel does a good job at describing who the flexians are and what flex nets are in her book. She provided some example to back up her claims and did repeat to tell the reader "Hey, we talked about this in Ch.4, so I am reminding you for the 4th time". I feel she should of added more depth to her book because 205 pages isn't enough for the subject at hand. I enjoyed what I learned from this author. I previously learned about transnational institutions, Liberal institutionalism, Casino Cap ...more
Markus
Sep 24, 2013 Markus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This study is commendable for shining light on a critical development: the concentration of power on small networks and cliques of people operating in and between government, business, law, security agencies, the military and the media. Using their connections, sharing information and pooling resources within the networks they can greatly influence policy planning and implementation and reap personal rewards while remaining outside of public scrutiny and without any meaningful accountability. An ...more
Rhonda
Jan 04, 2010 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
The author did a good job of explaining this new breed of "players" who 'toy with official rules and not only get away with it, but often make decisions about policies that affect us all---in areas ranging from the economy and foreign affairs to government and society---while fashioning new rules of the game to benefit themselves.'

This is about people in power who have their "own" agenda, and get involved in many organizations and then blur the lines of who they are representing when they act, a
...more
Christopher Mcdermott
Well researched, scary and a bit depressing.

A good book that shows the power of self ingratiating elites that circumvent democracy. The book leaves you wondering if these elites are only out for themselves what future do we have. Be very skeptical of any TV pundit even if they sound very rational and what advocacy they are pushing.
Randolph Breschini
Interesting book...Neo-cons and Flex-nets
Jay Roberts
Aug 09, 2011 Jay Roberts rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
If you don't watch Fox News, you already know everything in this book. If you do watch Fox News, you'll never care about this book. All and all, this work is nothing more than a muddled recap of events almost everyone who pays attention already knows. There is little point in reading this book.
Fredrick Danysh
An examination of the unseen forces and powers behind government and business and how they effect the political and economic actions influcing our lives without having official standing or accountability. A must read.
David
Jan 01, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating topic presented in a dull and self-promoting style. Frequently lacking specifics, obsessed with trying to promote new buzzwords.
SD Mittelsteadt
This is the first book from the new HuffPost Book Club.
Scott
Jun 26, 2011 Scott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting subject, but such a boring book
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“What does it mean when individuals can no longer be embarrassed or shamed?” 0 likes
“Collectively, these clans made up the clan-state, in which there is little separation of the clan—with its political and economic agendas—from the state: The same people with the same agenda undertaking the same activities constitute the clan and the relevant state authorities. The clan-state is democracy-challenged: It lacks visibility, accountability, and means of representation for those under its control. The only real counter to a clan's influence comes from a competitor clan, as when one clan sics law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities on a rival one.” 0 likes
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