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Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government--and How We Take It Back Hardcover – May 2, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307237346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307237347
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,654,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A book that could show any political speaker how to forge a compelling narrative." -- Washington Monthly

"Hostile Takeover argues persuasively that the two parties have teamed up to permit . . . 'Big Money' to manipulate the political system." -- Dallas Morning News

"If you're angry about the way that corporatism is destroying America then you should rush out and buy Hostile Takeover." -- Philadelphia Daily News

"Remarkable and irrefutable insights...[Sirota] represents the battle for the soul of the Democratic party." -- Buzzflash

"Sirota is the kind of pundit you'd like to have on your side in a knife fight." -- The American Prospect

From the Back Cover


"Hostile Takeover makes a strong case that American democracy is under attack. Every politically engaged citizen who wants to know what challenges we face and how we can rebuild our country's democracy should read this book." —Al Gore, former vice president of the United States

"Here are the horrifying facts about how our government works today—and for whom it works—delivered in a tone of outrage that is not only merited but appropriate. Read it and scream." —Thomas Frank, author of What's the Matter with Kansas?

"David Sirota is a genuine American hero: he speaks the truth—forcefully, courageously, straightforwardly, with no apologies, and with thorough documentation. This book is an invaluable guide to how the hostile takeover of our government affects you, and what you can do about it." —George Lakoff, author of Don't Think of an Elephant!

"A blunt, two-fisted attack that pulls back the covers on the cozy canoodling between corporations and our government. Sirota ferociously indicts politicians of both political parties for their shameless peddling of corporate PR." —Arianna Huffington, author of Pigs at the Trough

"A precious handbook for citizens living in the country of anger and disgust. Read it and you will no longer feel powerless. You may begin to believe it's possible for the people to reclaim their democracy. You may even decide to join the fight." —William Greider, author of Who Will Tell the People and national affairs correspondent for The Nation "Hostile Takeover is not for the Powers That Be, but for the Powers that Ought To Be—the ordinary grassroots people of our country. Use this book as a lesson plan and action plan for taking our government back." —Jim Hightower, author of Thieves in High Places

More About the Author

David Sirota is a journalist, TV commentator and nationally syndicated weekly newspaper columnist. His weekly column is based at the San Francisco Chronicle, Portland Oregonian and The Seattle Times and now appears in newspapers with a combined daily circulation of more than 1.6 million readers. He has written three books, the latter of which became the basis for the National Geographic Channel's major miniseries on the 1980s. He has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, Harper's and The Nation. He appears regularly as a guest on MSNBC and Current TV and has been featured on The Colbert Report and NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly. Sirota received a degree in journalism and political science from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He lives in Denver with his wife, Emily; his son Isaac; and his dog, Monty. Find his website at

You can schedule Sirota to appear at your book club, civic organization or local bookstore at his website at

Customer Reviews

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I got this book from the library and read it over a month.
Chris Corcoran
That's where Sirota steps in and addresses the very same conservatives and libertarians who violate their own principles.
Grant Burke
If you're sick and tired of "limousine liberals" and want genuine working class liberals for a change, read this book.
Jeff Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 179 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on May 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A summary of Sirota's book would point out that millions lack health care, and even more struggle to afford it. Politicians claim they care, then pass legislation that provides more profits for drug companies and insurers. At the same time, inflation-adjusted wages have been largely stagnant, while corporate profits have skyrocketed. In this instance, politicians "help out" by further depressing wages by continuing to allow millions of illegal and temporary legal immigrants into the U.S., and additional millions of jobs outsourced overseas. Despite an obvious need for energy conservation, our government takes its lead from V.P. Dick Cheney and does nothing. Welcome to today's world of lobbyists', lies, and legislation for sale.

The "really bad news" is that they're not satisfied. Possible future legislation includes a flat income tax (a huge tax cut for the wealthy, and a huge tax increase for everyone else - per Reagan's '82 Treasury Dept.), permanent elimination of the estate tax (only 2% were paying, and half the receipts came from the top .1% with estates over $5 million), and reducing corporate taxes from their 35% level - "fourth highest" in the industrialized world (a '04 GAO report concluded that 94% paid less than 5%, and that 60,000 government contractors owed $6 billion in unpaid taxes), more personal tax cuts (to justify further cuts in veterans' healthcare, inadequate/non-funding of Army armor and New Orleans' levees - the pre-Katrina official protesting the latter was immediately fired).

Not upset yet - read on. USA Today reported in late '05 that while the 60 worst performing companies in America lost 4769 billion in market value in the prior five years, their top five executives were paid an average of $8 million/year.
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73 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought and read both this book, and John Stossel's Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel - Why Everything You Know is Wrong This is a serious book for serious people. Stossel's book is full of trivia and generally a waste of time.

This author focuses on the substance of taxes, wages, jobs, debt, pensions, health care, prescription drugs, energy, unions, and legal rights, and he does it in an engaging methodical manner that discusses the issue, highlights in turn myths, lies, and half-truths, and then ends with proposed solutions, all of them sensible.

It merits comment that this book is endorsed on the back cover by many people I respect from Al Gore An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming to Bill Greider Who Will Tell The People? : The Betrayal Of American Democracy and The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy to Jim Hightower Thieves in High Places: They've Stolen Our Country and It's Time to Take It Back.

The bottom line is clear: the U.S. government at the political level, whether Republican or Democratic, is completely corrupt. Every Congressman and every President, every Senator, have so many conflicts of interest as to be incapable of representing the people honestly.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By E. Kolodinski on June 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really liked the way Sirota handled each of the topics he covered, even though I didn't agree with all his recommendations or even all his interepretations of the issues. The health care and prescription drugs chapters where interesting to me in this way because I am in favor of universal health care, but don't necessarily see that what he's said will convince anyone who isnt'. On the other hand, in the areas of taxes, wages, jobs and unions, his comments and recommendations were on target and helpful. The legal rights and pensions chapters covered things I didn't know, so I was glad to learn about those. I went to a reading/Q&A with Sirota where I bought the book, and it was filled beyond capacity. He was quite insightful, dealt deftly and expertly with his subjects and the audience. He had the facts well in hand and exuded the confidence that comes with being prepared.

Since college 15 years ago, when I first became aware of the political power of corporations, I've been bothered by it. But it wasn't until about ten years ago that I started putting it all together. I became angry. Now, after having worked for the Man, voted for the Man and been ripped off by the Man in all sorts of ways, I've become motivated. I am a policy junkie and avid CSPAN watcher, but I haven't read many other books like this. I'm glad to have read "Hostile Takeover" and am looking forward to reading other books in this vein. I did see the documentary "The Corporation," which added fuel to my indignant, anti-corporate fire.

To reviewer B Struhl, I'd have to say that perhaps you've sat around reading a few too many of these books to realize that most people don't have the time to read all of them and compare/contrast in a personal academic exercise.
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