Arianna Huffington, popular pundit, columnist, and author, is not known for her polite criticisms or her carefully worded complaints. In the course of Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America, the corporate CEOs, accountants, politicians, and lobbyists at who she takes aim receive little relief from their porcine characterization first intimated in the book's title. And while she is full of invective for Enron's Kenneth Lay, Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski, Dick Cheney, and others, she backs up her outrage with dollar figures, dates, names, and specific information. The voluminous research is made more digestible by Huffington's direct and often amusing writing style (she characterizes a CEO's process of getting a loan approved by a corporate board as being akin to Tony Soprano getting a loan from Paulie Walnuts). Interspersed between chapters are entertainingly informative sidebars, including quizzes on executives' avarice and games where you match the CEO to his yacht. Occasionally, Huffington's anger gets mired in name-calling, which deflates her points. And while she spends ample time and space outlining the particulars of a flawed power structure, she dedicates little time to offering practical solutions toward remedying the problems. But Huffington is not trying to write a political science textbook or a party platform. As a highly readable indictment of corporate and governmental excess, Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America is highly successful. --John Moe
From Publishers Weekly
Nationally syndicated columnist Huffington's greatest dilemma while writing this scathing indictment of the corporate and political culture that brought the "new economy" '90s crashing down must have been how to choose among the plethora of examples of greed, corruption, hypocrisy and political manipulation. So unsavory are the CEO villains, so unfathomable is their greed and monstrously callous is their disregard for the thousands of employees who lost jobs and savings because of them, that even the most worldly activist and most cynical political observers will be shocked by what they read here. And Huffington's indictment of the corporate culture of greed, one that she believes undermines democracy, goes far beyond the high-flying corporate figures featured in congressional investigations. Among her accusations are that U.S. drug companies allowed the African AIDS epidemic to rage in the interests of corporate profits, and that President Bush is a conspirator in the corporate disregard of the interests of the American public. This is a powerful book, brimming with wit and sulphurous satire that connects the dots among politicians, lobbyists and corporations, and demonstrates their destructive effect on the well-being of average Americans. She may well be on her way to achieving her goal of convincing readers "to join forces to storm the control room of the S.S. America."
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