As a U.S. senator and former federal prosecutor, Sheldon Whitehouse has had a front-row seat for the spectacle of dark money in government. In his widely praised book Captured, he describes how corporations buy influence over our government-- not only over representatives and senators, but over the very regulators directly responsible for enforcing the laws under which these corporations operate, and over the judges and prosecutors who are supposed to be vigilant about protecting the public interest.
In a case study that shows these operations at work, Whitehouse reveals how fossil fuel companies have held any regulation related to climate change at bay. The problem is structural: as Kirkus Reviews wrote, "many of the ills it illuminates are bipartisan."
This paperback edition features a new preface by the author that reveals how corporate influence has taken advantage of Donald Trump's presidency to advance its agenda--and what we can do about it.
Presents an examination of the author's long and complex relationship with the FBI official responsible for providing him with the details of the Watergate break-in, which ultimately resulted in the resignation of President Nixon.
A captivating chronicle of how the City of Angels lost its soul
Los Angeles was the fastest growing city in the world, mad with oil fever, get-rich-quick schemes, celebrity scandals, and religious fervor. It was also rife with organized crime, with a mayor in the pocket of the syndicates and a DA taking bribes to throw trials. In "A Bright and Guilty Place," Richard Rayner narrates the entwined lives of two men, Dave Clark and Leslie White, who were caught up in the crimes, murders, and swindles of the day. Over a few transformative years, as the boom times shaded into the Depression, the adventures of Clark and White would inspire pulp fiction and replace L.A.'s reckless optimism with a new cynicism. Together, theirs is the tale of how the city of sunshine got noir.
When "A Bright and Guilty Place" begins, Leslie White is a naive young photographer who lands a job as a crime-scene investigator in the L.A. district attorney's office. There he meets Dave Clark, a young, movie-star handsome lawyer and a rising star prosecutor with big ambitions. The cases they tried were some of the first "trials of the century," starring dark-hearted oil barons, sexually perverse starlets, and hookers with hearts of gold. Los Angeles was in the grip of organized crime, and White was dismayed to see that only the innocent paid while the powerful walked free. But Clark was entranced by L.A.'s dangerous lures and lived the high life, marrying a beautiful woman, wearing custom-made suits, yachting with the rich and powerful, and jaunting off to Mexico for gambling and girls. In a shocking twist, when Charlie Crawford, the Al Capone of L.A., was found dead, the chief suspect was none other than golden boy Dave Clark.
"A Bright and Guilty Place "is narrative nonfiction at its most gripping. Key to the tale are the story of the theft of water from the Owens River Valley that let L.A grow; the Teapot Dome scandal that brought shame to President Harding; and the emergence of crime writers like Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, who helped mythologize L.A. In Rayner's hands, the ballad of Dave Clark is the story of the coming of age of a great American city.
This expose of Washington politics revives the disreputable profession of muckraking, scrutinizing with an unforgiving eye the political culture of the Clinton era. Paying open tribute to the tone and illustrative style of Kenneth Anger's "Hollywood Babylon," the authors provide, in words and pictures, the scoop on the nefarious goings on in the capital city, the out of town arrivistes in the White House and on Capital Hill, and the corrupt stew of permanent officials and hangers-on which surrounds them: the lobbyists, the lawyers, the officials and the journalist elite. The book opens up the heart of American government, inside the Oval Office. It charts the rise of Bill Clinton, from the heady days of dope, group sex and anti-war movements snooping at Oxford, through the scandals of Whitewater and Paula Jones, and on to the political cowardice that led to the debacle of the 1994 mid-term elections. The book takes in members of the Clinton set, such as Robert Rubin of Goldman Sachs, whose officers donated $1.2 million to the Clinton campaign and were amply repaid when their man became the President's chief economic officer. It peers into the murky activities of the liberal elite, whose foundations--MacArthur, Pew and Rockefeller--deploy upwards of $3 billion per year in shaping government policy on issues ranging from the environment to penal reform. It exposes the supremely influential role of the "Wall Street Journal," virtual inventor of the cult of Gingrichism, and the other media institutions whose myths the American public has no choice but to endure. The book also scrutinizes Congress, prostrate before the overwhelming power of the big bureaucracies and at the mercy of lawyer-lobbyists who oversee the crossroads of power and manage the necessary traffic of money and favours.