Emily's Reviews > Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

Griftopia by Matt Taibbi
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's review
Dec 26, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 2011
Recommended to Emily by: EOB
Read in December, 2011

A little of Matt Taibbi goes a long way, in my experience, but I ended up liking this book more than I expected, because it has an actual point.

There are moments where I felt as though Taibbi asserted something, expected the reader to take it as given, and plowed on ahead. In the end, though, I accepted this style--otherwise, the book would turn into All the Devils Are Here, which I couldn't get through. Talking about Alan Greenspan, Goldman Sachs, commodity speculation, and Obama's muddled promises about healthcare, Taibbi paints a picture of self-interested, venal bureaucrats who are almost too dim to realize what they're doing is wrong.

Taibbi posits that there is an oligarchical class of people like this who, far from planning for America's bright future, are making extremely short-term selfish decisions. It's like they don't care if they get caught because they'll already be rich, or dead, by the time anyone figures out what's going on. I'm not sure he convinced me that this is going on exactly as he says, but the picture he paints--of a political culture totally unable to analyze the situation, let alone respond--is convincing and damning.

If you liked this, you would probably like Michael Kinsley.
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