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Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores Hardcover – November 14, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition, first printing edition (November 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780525952077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952077
  • ASIN: 0525952071
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Palast's stories bite. They're so relevant they threaten to alter history. Palast is exactly what a journalist is supposed to be - a truth hound, doggedly independent, undaunted by power. Chicago Tribune Courageous reporting -- Michael Moore The real Sam Spade Nation It is a breath of fresh air - I read it in one sitting Tribune It's a genuinely life-changing book - funny, pacy, intelligent and ultimately very moving. If you want to know how the world really works, read this. -- A. L. Kennedy Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Greg Palast’s writings have appeared in The Washington Post, Harper’s, and The Nation. He’s been a guest on Politically Incorrect, C-Span’s Washington Journal, and does regular investigative reports for BBC Nightline.  Winner of Salon.com’s 2001 “Politics Story of the Year,” Greg Palast is a legend among his colleagues and his devoted readership worldwide. He divides his time between New York and London.


More About the Author

Greg Palast is the author of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, Vultures' Picnic and the New York Times bestsellers, Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

Palast turned his skills to journalism after two decades as a top investigator of corporate fraud. Palast directed the U.S. government's largest racketeering case in history-winning a $4.3 billion jury award. He also conducted the investigation of fraud charges in the Exxon Valdez grounding.

Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Palast set off on a five-continent undercover investigation of BP and the oil industry for British television's top current affairs program, Dispatches
Palast turned his skills to journalism after two decades as a top investigator of corporate fraud. Palast directed the U.S. government's largest racketeering case in history-winning a $4.3 billion jury award. He also conducted the investigation of fraud charges in the Exxon Valdez grounding.

Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Palast set off on a five-continent undercover investigation of BP and the oil industry for British television's top current affairs program, Dispatches.

Palast is best known in his native USA as the journalist who, for the Observer (UK), broke the story of how Jeb Bush purged thousands of Black Florida citizens from voter rolls before the 2000 election, thereby handing the White House to his brother George. His reports on the theft of the 2000 and 2004 US elections, the spike of the FBI investigations of the bin Ladens before September 11, the secret State Department documents planning the seizure of Iraq's oil fields have won him a record six Project Censored awards for reporting the news American media doesn't want you to hear. "The top investigative journalist in the United States is persona non grata in his own country's media." [Asia Times.] He returned to America to report for Harper's Magazine.

Palast's Sam Spade style television and print exposés about financial vultures, election manipulations, War on Terror and globalization, are seen on BBC's Newsnight and Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!

Palast, who has led investigations for governments on three continents, has an academic side: the author of Democracy and Regulation, a seminal treatise on energy corporations and government control was commissioned by the United Nations based on his lectures at Cambridge University and the University of São Paulo.

Beginning in the 1970s, having earned his degree in finance at the University of Chicago studying under Milton Friedman and free-trade luminaries, Palast went on to challenge their vision of a New Global Order, working for the United Steelworkers of America, the Enron workers' coalition in Latin America and consumer and environmental groups worldwide.

In 1998 Palast went undercover for Britain's Observer, worked his way inside the prime minister's inner circle and busted open Tony Blair's biggest scandal, "Lobbygate," chosen by Palast's press colleagues in the UK as "Story of the Year." As the Chicago Tribune said, Palast became a "fanatic about documents--especially those marked "secret and confidential" from the locked file cabinets of the FBI, the World Bank, the US State Department and other closed-door operations of government and industry--which regularly find their way into his hands. The inside information he obtained on Rev. Pat Robertson won him a nomination as Britain's top business journalist.

Palast is Patron of the Trinity College Philosophical Society, an honor previously held by Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. His writings have won him the Financial Times David Thomas Prize--and inspired the Eminem video, Mosh. "An American hero," said Martin Luther King III. In the BBC documentary, Bush Family Fortunes, Palast exposed George Bush Jr.'s dodging the Vietnam War draft. Greg Palast, says Noam Chomsky, "Upsets all the right people."

Palast won the George Orwell Courage in Journalism Award for his BBC documentary, Bush Family Fortunes.

What they're saying ...
"Greg Palast is one of my heroes. The last investigative reporter in America. In Armed Madhouse he has the best inside story of the war inside the White House over the war in Iraq, the battle between the neo-cons and Big Oil." -Robert F Kennedy Jr. -Air America Radio
"Twisted and maniacal" -Katherine Harris

"We hate that sonuvabitch." -The White House

"Doggedly independent, undaunted by power. His stories bite, they're so relevant they threaten to alter history" -Chicago Tribune

In England, Tribune Magazine calls him, "The most important investigative reporter of our time."

"Greg Palast is investigative journalism at its best. No one has exposed more truth about the Bush Cartel and lived to tell the story." - Baltimore Chronicle

"Armed Madhouse is great fun. Palast, detective style, provides ... pieces of the secret puzzle." - The New Yorker

The Chicago Reader asks about Greg Palast, "Can one reporter change the entire political discourse of the nation?"

In Britain he's called, "The most important investigative reporter of our time." -Tribune
After exposing on BBC TV the contents of a stack of documents from inside The World Bank and the World Trade Organization, the WTO called his report, "Rubbish rubbish rubbish," and CNN reported, "The World Bank hates Greg Palast" for stories the Wall Street Journal's Jude Wanniski called, "Extraordinary reporting on the IMF," and Nobel Laureate Joesph Stiglitz called, "Excellent on the WTO."

"The information is a hand grenade." - John Pilger, New Statesman

"Up there with Woodward and Bernstein." -Manchester Guardian

"Just read Armed Madhouse - fantastic work." - Comedian Doug Stanhope

"What does a multi-award winning reporting investigator do when he has a huge story to break? If it's Greg Palast, one of America's foremost journalists, he goes to England! Greg Palast has repeatedly scooped the U.S. networks, and newspaper elites, reporting for London's Guardian newspaper, and BBC television's current affairs flagship program, Newsnight. He's reported on the truth behind George W. Bush's theft of the 2000 presidential election, the attempted theft of Venezuelan democracy, the World Bank's willful destruction of Argentina, Enron's looting of California, and the cozy relationship between the Bush and Bin Laden dynasties. The problem is: The men behind the curtain of America's media don't want you to know about these, or any of the other stories he has to tell. Undeterred by the sucking vacuum of America's mainstream media, Greg put together a few of his greatest journalistic hits in the book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: the Truth About Corporate Cons, Globalization, and High-Finance Fraudsters." Ironically, the stories the New York Times didn't find fit to print have become a New York Times best-seller. Now Greg Palast is releasing a DVD, "Bush Family Fortunes," based on "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," and featuring some of his reports from Britain." - Chris Cook, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

"Armed Madhouse is a work of Genius" -Robert F Kennedy Jr. -Air America Radio

Awards
Patron of the Philosophical Society, Trinity College (an award previously given to Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift)

The Upton Sinclair Freedom of Expression Award The American Civil Liberties Union

George Orwell Courage in Journalism Award: Freedom Cinema Fest at The Sundance Film Festival

The Financial Times David Thomas Prize

Nominated for Business Journalist of the Year 1998 (UK)

Politics Story of the Year on Salon.com 2001

Guerilla News Network's Reporter of the Year

The Peace and Justice Award -Office of the Americas

Path Breaking Investigative Journalism Award--Long Island Progressive Coalition

National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism, Book Category, First Place.

Customer Reviews

Mr. Palast writes in a very entertaining style.
William M. Simonton
Great Book--couldn't put it down--stories of BBC reporter Greg Palast's journalistic exploits into contemporary corruption, told with the author's acerbic wit!
Kay Burningham
This Thanksgiving what I'm most thankful for is that there are still people like Greg Palast and all the people who help him every day.
vern

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Russ Burlingame on November 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
After nearly a decade spent building a public persona based around (apt) comparisons to Same Spade, BBC journalist Greg Palast has finally given us a book that provides a plot and supporting characters to match. In this hard-to-put-down work of pulp nonfiction, Palast's heroes are journalists, researchers, photographers and whistleblowers and his villains are the villains of tomorrow's headlines. As with Palast's previous work, where he was ahead of the pitch on Kenneth Lay and BP, the vulture's and their ilk are sure to finally catch the attention of the mainstream media in another couple of years, after Palast has made their methods transparent and they've committed one or two more grievous offenses.

The book also provides a fascinating look into the inner workings of a committed investigative team, with Palast's office and staff laid bare and nothing off-limits...except sources told him in confidence. How do you become one of our generation's most important investigative journalists? Many of Palast's tricks are on display here for all to see. We'll see how many copies of this book sell to the tric\ksters he's pursuing in hopes of staying one step ahead of the next investigator on their trail.
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87 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Jay Trout on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm well aware of the corruption that has pervaded American business and politics, but having it all grow to immense proportions page after page is rather devastating. The good news is that all of the disgusting facts are served with a generous portion of Palast's biting wit.

Thank God for Greg Palast. If only he were a Federal prosecutor. Prosecutors take note. Palast has done your work for you. Now we just need the indictments. Palast is perhaps the best investigative journalists alive. Sadly, he is also one of a shrinking minority.

Vultures Picnic is a massive expose of dirty dealings by Big Oil, greasy politicians and Big Banks. It should be required reading for every citizen on the planet. I cannot recommend it highly enough. That goes for all of his work.
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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By C. Peace on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of modern day horror stories this book is for you. You may find it a bit more disturbing than say Stephen Kings horror stories because:
1. These stories are real and don't end when you finish the book
2. They have a tangible effect on your life.
3. It takes nerves of steel to read Mr.Palasts expose and still be able to sleep at night.
4. This book is written in a style that rivals King for wit and clarity and presentation of subject.
5. It WILL change your view of reality in the modern world...BUY IT if you dare!
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By vern on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Thanksgiving what I'm most thankful for is that there are still people like Greg Palast and all the people who help him every day. I used to be thankful for other things. But then I learned that most of those things either never really existed or were being taken from us at an incredible rate... democracy, freedom, life in a caring society, the American dream, justice, etc.

If you want to "really understand" how the world got to be so obscenely unjust and corrupt up you can't do better than read this book. If you want to take a positive step toward actually changing things you can't do better than to buy several copies of this book and give them to those you love. Everyone needs to know what's in this book to prepare all of us for the fight ahead and to gin up the moral fortitude to act... as we inevitably must.

At some point we've got to turn our attention away from all the ways our lives are being intentionally destroyed for fun and profit by those who already have almost everything. At some point we will have to choose the best ways to fight back and have a clear vision of what a new American and World dream looks like. Most of us won't actually embrace change until we get a simultaneous push and pull. Greg's book should be enough of a "push" to make any of 99% of us ready to do whatever is necessary to extricate ourselves from the current situation. And I have no doubt that after Greg convinces us of that he will be a key player in helping shape an equally compelling "pull" ...a new vision of what the world could and should be.

Recently in a Sept. 30, 2011 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS Warren Buffett said... "There has been class warfare going on. It's just that my class is winning. And my class isn't just winning, I mean we're killing them.
Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By drbob on November 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
For years now, I have tried to get my friends, relatives, patients, and most anyone involved in my life, to read non-fiction books dealing with the dismantling of our former democratic republic and its grotesque imperialistic agenda. "Confessions of an Economic Hitman", "Shock Doctrine", anything by Chomsky, Stiglitz, Smedley Butler, Zinn, are great reads but I have not had much success in getting them to wade into the stories these books and authors tell. This should be different and I will report back on my results.
This book reads like a mystery thriller with a tinge of humor, some sexual, some self deprecating, and all with the purpose of letting you connect with the author and his team of investigators and make it feel more real. A mere presentation of the facts would be enough for some but the story came alive as I learned about Palast, connected with his website, and followed his globe trotting path. He is a true character, in the finest sense of the word.
So a great story, an intriguing style -- just like a good novel only totally true. This might
help wake people up.
Read and Weep -- but read indeed.
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