SOCIAL SCIENCES

Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It

Potter, Wendell & . Bloomsbury Pr. Mar. 2016. 288p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781632861092. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781632861108. POL SCI
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Potter (analyst, Ctr. for Public Integrity; Deadly Spin) and Penniman (executive director, Issue One) deliver a call to action against the expanding role big money plays in U.S. politics. They begin by documenting the scale of the problem with facts and figures, then provide a brief history of events and decisions that have brought the country to this point. Next, they offer case studies of lobbying by banking, pharmaceutical (a subject in which Potter is especially knowledgeable and critical), energy, agriculture, and chemical industries, and conclude with a rallying cry to bring government back under the control of the people by rejecting cynicism, broadening participation, and building on successful state and local models. Their argument is impassioned and accessible, in contrast to a more thorough, balanced, and academically informed treatment as found in Kenneth Godwin and others' Lobbying and Policymaking.
VERDICT This book will interest readers concerned about money in politics during the 2016 election cycle but may not have lasting appeal.

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