From Publishers Weekly
The wholesale takeover of government services by private corporations is decried in this rousing, if not very rigorous, polemic. Labor activist and community organizer Kahn, author of How People Get Power, and feminist philosopher Minnich, author of Transforming Knowledge, regale readers with recent efforts to privatize Social Security, public schools and health care, welfare bureaucracies, army mess-halls and, especially, prisons. (Kahn runs Grassroots Leadership, an organization that fights prison privatization.) The authors contend that such initiatives are often predicated on efforts to drain funds from public programs in order to create the very crises that privatization purports to fix; and while privatization impedes public oversight and turns decent government jobs into low-wage makeshifts, they argue, it rarely boosts efficiency or reduces costs. Indeed, they insist that conservative privatizers aim to "destroy independent, democratic government itself"-to shrink the public sector where citizens can exercise their rights, turn it into a cash-cow for business interests and institute a quasi-fascist "merger of the power of the corporation and the state" that tramples individual freedoms. The authors present their arguments in a crowd-pleasing populist style flavored with general anti-corporate invective, satirical playlets and a big helping of Kahn's folk songs about the downtrodden. Unfortunately, the devil of privatization resides in the details, and the authors' inadequately sourced account skimps on the facts and figures that would lend some authority to their sermonizing. Kahn and Minnich mount a vigorous defense of the public good against the profit motive, but they would be more persuasive if their rhetoric didn't outrun their reporting.
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If you care about the future of our public democracy, please read The Fox in the Henhouse. -- Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Like this excellent and timely book says, these days the foxes aren't just guarding the henhousethey're on the inside. -- Jim Hightower, New York Times best-selling author and publisher of the populist newsletter, the Hightower Lowdown
The ownership society really means youre on your own. This book provides the exposé and ways we can fight back. -- Heather Booth, President, Midwest Academy
This book is a blunt, eloquent, and well-reasoned warning that the powerful forces of privatization are increasingly controlling our lives. -- Frye Gaillard, award winning writer in residence at the University of South Alabama
This book is a wake-up call for all who care about our democracy and the assault on public services. -- Larry Cohen, Executive Vice President, Communications Workers of America (CWA)
A compelling discussion of the consequences of unbridled corporate power, and a thoughtful essay on the human condition. -- Philip Mattera, Director, Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First, and author of Inside U.S. Business