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Feasting on the Spoils: The Life and Times of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, History's Most Corrupt Congressman Hardcover – July 10, 2007
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It was very clear to me after reading this book how our culture of materialism and consumerism has gotten out of control. The "Duke" got caught up in this and loses site of what is important in life and his purpose as a father, husband and congressional representative. Seth paints a very clear picture of a man caught up in his own ego unable to distinguish right from wrong. This book reminded me about the frailty of human beings and the necessity to show how bad it can get when we lose site of our purpose. This timely book should not only be a must read for every politician....but everyone.
The other fascinating part of the book is that it shows just how easy it is for a member of Congress to be corrupted. After reading it, we should look long and hard at practices such as "legislative earmarks" and gerrymandered political districts, both of which played a strong part in Cunningham's saga. A gerrymandered district ensured that he would always be re-elected (despite the observation by the local, conservative, paper that he was an embarrassment to the voters), while the "earmark" process allowed him to payback his benefactors by inserting hidden contracts into spending bills. If we are ever going to have a semblance of true democracy, both of these practices must stop. This book demonstrates how and why both of these practices have such a deleterious effect on our government. It's a great story that was exceedingly well told.
Hettena has masterfully taken a complex, convoluted and just plain confusing history and woven a fascinating and comprehensible story which helps us understand not only what happened in the case of Randy "Duke" Cunningham and his contractor cronies, Wade and Wilkes, but skillfully illuminates the reasons why.
Perhaps some of you will say they're unethical - so what? The amount of corruption and the web of complicity throughout our government and industry have reached record breadth and depth. It will not improve until the American public pays attention, understands, and demands that it be stopped. Each of us has a part in this drama. A good place to start is reading this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great read telling all one needs to know about the rise and fall of a great friend that I still love and admire. Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by Fritz Louderback
After the Bush years are over and those Congressmen and lobbyists who have benefited from their party's patronage go to jail, (1994 was the real year of inception with the GOP... Read morePublished on September 22, 2007 by Jon Hunt
"Spoils" paints not only an amazing story of corruption but a fascinating character study in how the sense of entitlement and greed can take over the human spirit. Read morePublished on August 22, 2007 by Intrigued In San Diego
The author, in a very vivid language, tells us a lot about what is happening in Washington.
I wish every American could read this book to realize what really is happening to... Read more