Corruption in High Places

Graft. Theft. Bribery. Nepotism. Politicians for sale. Police on the pad. Bought judges. Fudged data. Bring all the muck you can rake and sling it at this wall ! Can be non-fiction but should have strong narrative.
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350 books · 266 voters · list created February 15th, 2010 by Thom Dunn (votes) .
43 likes · 
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Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Valerie (new)

Valerie It's always seemed to me that too many people focus on corruption. In systems which are inherently destructive, corruption may be the only way ordinary people can gain any relief. I'd be more interested in stories of how destructive systems were 'altered or abolish(ed)' to render them less systematically ruthless.


message 2: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Valerie wrote: "It's always seemed to me that too many people focus on corruption. In systems which are inherently destructive, corruption may be the only way ordinary people can gain any relief. I'd be more int..."

Well, then you must be grateful for The Jungle...which caused Teddy Roosevelt to shout, " You mean, I've been eating rats !!?"...and the rest is historic reform.


message 3: by Reese (last edited Feb 15, 2010 07:54AM) (new)

Reese T,
I initially intended to add books about corruption, abuse of power, etc. only in the USA. Then I noticed that you had listed works set in other countries. So I didn't limit my choices to books about "the bad and the ugly" machers in America. But I'm wondering if leaving the door wide open for works about unscrupulous politicians, officers of the court, businessmen, researchers, and so on will result in the creation of a much broader list than you envisioned. If you don't want to use time and/or place to restrict choices, then should we be adding works such as JULIUS CAESAR, ANIMAL FARM, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, and on & on? Reese


message 4: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Rdbot (Reese) wrote: "T,
I initially intended to add books about corruption, abuse of power, etc. only in the USA. Then I noticed that you had listed works set in other countries. So I didn't limit my choices to books ..."


MY INITIAL inspiration was the film "Justice for All", with Al Pacino as a good-guy public attorney, but there IS NO BOOK for that one. Corruption everywhere. Corruption as SOP. For this, nothing succeeds like White Tiger, and The Beautyful Ones/Born. The action is incidental to the episodic portrayal of {pick your)-ism gone wrong. Post-revolutionary societies are quick to fall into grab-anything carpetbaggerism. You get the drift. Sclerotic, arthritic Rome does sound like fun, though. And Bolsheviks ? Don't get me started !!


message 5: by Reese (new)

Reese I love, among other tendencies, your subtlety.


message 6: by Valerie (new)

Valerie 'Muckraker' has come to be a pejorative term, and there's some basis for this, since too often it becomes about sexual peccadillos or financial opportunism. But many of the original muckrakers really were genuine reformers, hoping that if they revealed how abusive the sytem was, they'd begin to change things.

That was why I wanted to get more detail on Nellie Bly's expose of insane asylums, (and why I was fascinated by the article "On Being Sane in Insane Places"), and why, despite Riis' elitist bias, I took the time to dig up How The Other Half Lives, rather than take other people's word for what it said.


message 7: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Valerie wrote: "'Muckraker' has come to be a pejorative term, and there's some basis for this, since too often it becomes about sexual peccadillos or financial opportunism. But many of the original muckrakers rea..."

I realize that "muckraker" is used pejoratively, that's in keeping with my motive for starting this list. When did it become bad form to say the Emperor has no clothes ?


message 8: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Oh, in a lot of ways it always was. But the problem is that the focus is on 'corruption', rather than on how the system is inherently destructive. Illegal acts attract all the blame, and legal abuse is shrugged off. People who can't manage to stay within the law often lobby to change the laws--but that's not 'corruption', so it's not targeted.

I'm somewhat jaundiced on the subject--months of sleep deprivation have a way of doing that. But the sleep deprivation was done 'perfectly legally', so I of course I had no recourse. Not that I was particularly reconciled to institutionalized abuse before that--the sleep deprivation just made me more snappish about it.


message 9: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Valerie wrote: "Oh, in a lot of ways it always was. But the problem is that the focus is on 'corruption', rather than on how the system is inherently destructive. Illegal acts attract all the blame, and legal ab..."

I wear a C-PAP to correct severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Can you relate ?


message 10: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Indeed--but a ruling that you have no right to keep people out of your home at hours you find distinctly UNreasonable probably wouldn't improve matters, even in such a case.


Mike (the Paladin) I was a little at a loss here. I see a lot of books "about corruption" that tell good stories, but not a lot than really make a valid point. What are we going for? Oh well, no big deal.


message 12: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Spam alert!

#1 Tea Party Teddy - author circle jerk.

#3 Ancient Blood: A Novel of the Hegemony (The Order Saga) - same.

Do your part to vote Catch-22 and All the President's Men higher....


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