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Casino Jack and the United States of Money: Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff and the Buying of Washington Paperback – May 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933633697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933633695
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.7 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,724,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this absorbing exposé, journalist Stone rakes through every bit of Abramoff muck, from his role as producer of the Dolph Lundgren thriller Red Scorpion to his efforts to shield Marianas Islands sweatshops from labor regulations and minimum-wage laws. In his ripest scam, Abramoff took Indian casinos for millions, largely to help quash rival gambling establishments; in one masterstroke, he lobbied to get the Tigua tribe's casino reopened—after secretly organizing the campaign that shut it down. No mere opportunist, Stone contends, Abramoff became "financial godfather to a conservative influence machine" and "indispensable bagman" to GOP stalwarts like Tom DeLay, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed—who almost outsleazed Abramoff by organizing Christian antigambling crusades while collecting millions from Abramoff's tribal casino clients (and recently lost a Republican primary in Georgia perhaps because of this hypocrisy). Stone's sometimes repetitive account traces the labyrinthine routes—the charity front groups, the golf junkets—by which Abramoff funneled money to lawmakers and translated that influence into policy. The details can be eye glazing—as they were designed to be—but Stone keeps the story comprehensible while sprinkling in quotes from Abramoff's e-mails ("those moronic Tiguas... I'd love us to get our mitts on their moolah") that showcase his irrepressible grubbiness. The result is a troubling but colorful portrait of business as usual in Washington. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A one-stop shop for anyone wanting to know what this scandal is all about, why the fuss has been so substantial, what made Abramoff tick and how he succeeded.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Chillingly chronicles the sleazy and criminal exploits of one of the capital's most notorious players and exposes the darkest corners of the city.... a brilliant example of journalism noir.”
—David Corn, Washington Editor, Mother Jones

“Peter Stone has provided a comprehensive history. . . the clearest picture yet of how Abramoff’s operation really worked.”
—Paul Kiel, Washington Monthly

“[A]ll the damning evidence a reader could want...with luck, this lively little study will help inspire reforms.”
—Kirkus Reviews
(starred review)

“[An] absorbing exposé.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Provides a dutifully detailed account of how Mr. Abramoff, a fervent ideologue from the Reagan era, clawed his way into the capital’s glittering skyboxes . . . especially sharp in spelling out the sucker-punch ‘Gimme Five’ plan.”
—Chris Lehmann, The New York Observer

“Lays out how a greedy nobody insinuated himself into the Republican establishment . . . timely, compact, competent, and contains all the key facts, figures, and dates.”
—Charles Trueheart, Bloomberg

“Peter Stone played a vital role in uncovering one of the biggest stories in Washington, and with this book he skillfully takes the reader deep inside the world of money, influence, politics, and power in a gripping and illuminating narrative.”
—Michael Kranish, author, Flight from Monticello: Thomas Jefferson at War

“Peter Stone’s first-rate investigative reporting, done over several years, is a deftly handled take by an experienced Washington reporter. The thing that makes this book stand out is the incredible amount of original reporting that went into it. The tale is also well written and not overly hyped. It doesn’t have to be. It is told in delicious, understated detail that could easily be turned into a movie script.”
—Anne Colamosca, co-author of The Great 401(k) Hoax

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Wilkening on April 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This was a highly entertaining and readable account of the Abramoff scandal. Before I started reading it, I had a pretty vague understanding of the whole affair. I had obviously followed the story in the newspapers but tended to get lost in all the details of the intricate plot. Stone does a good job of explaining Abramoff's activities in a clear way that renders the affair understandable even to those with no prior knowledge. For the most part, Stone's voice is fairly unbiased. He presents the facts and lets them speak for themselves. He mostly refrains from making moral judgments of Abramoff and his collaborators until the last chapter, in which he situates the scandal within the larger topic of corruption in Washington. If I had to make a criticism, it might be that the author is sometimes repetitive, as he had a habit of citing certain facts and making certain arguments multiple times. Overall, however, I would recommend this book to anybody looking to gain a better understanding of the Abramoff affair. It makes for a pretty entertaining read at points, mainly just because the affair itself is so interesting and populated by such a colorful cast of characters. As far as I know, this is the only book-length treatment of the Abramoff scandal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Zato Ici on August 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What a story! A classic tale of corruption in Washington, DC. I was both entertained and educated by the author's summary of this complicated series of events. He introduces the characters, the situation, and describes the "action" in a respectable narrative style.

Sometimes I pay almost no attention to the Federal Government. The unveiling of Abramoff, DeLay, Ralph Reed, and the other villains is this drama passed me by. This book has filled me in admirably. Stone's choice of level of detail seemed just right.

I take off one star for the few places where one wishes the editor had made the author clean up unnecessary repetition, and for the general lack of color. The style is that of a journalist, not a novelist.

A fine job of reducing a complicated story to a brisk, informative read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne Colamosca on August 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peter Stone's first-rate investigative reporting -- done over several years -- is a deftly handled take by an experienced Washington reporter on Jack Abramoff's scandalous activities. The thing that makes this book stand out is the incredible amount of original reporting that went into it. The tale is also well-written and not overly hyped. It doesn't have to be. It is told in delicious, understated detail that could easily be turned into a movie script.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Citizen John TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
This documentary changes one's perception of Jack Abramoff from that portrayed in the newspapers. From the start he was supremely capable, imaginative and quite a force in his own right. Of course, he went too far in terms of the means justifying the ends. He is also an example of a person getting dirty through association with some of the wrong people. Honesty, I think he could have been a very successful elected official should he have chosen that route.

The examples in this documentary show politics at its worst. I don't know how much of reality these examples portray. It's pretty bad, so prepare yourself if you're going to view this film.

What I liked about the documentary was that what it chose to show, it did so in a way that was understandable to me. Surely there must be another side, an untold side, and I would have liked to see that. Nevertheless, I enjoyed and was riveted by this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lancefb on December 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
a decent read. puts the reader on the inside of a period in political history. the next book he wrote, "the right fights back" was too difficult to ready...too full of himself.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All Republicans should read this book. Know how to impact your government the old Republican Way.
Then vote against anyone that has PAC money, regardless of their party.
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