Porter Square Books is pleased to host a virtual talk with Sarah Chayes, author of On Corruption in America, and Zephyr Teachout, author of Break 'Em Up! This event is hosted on Crowdcast, and is free and open to all to attend.
Register for the event on Crowdcast here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/breakupcorruption
From the prizewinning journalist, internationally recognized expert on corruption in government networks throughout the world, On Corruption in America is a major, unflinching book that looks homeward to America, exploring the insidious, dangerous networks of corruption of our past, present, and precarious future. Corruption, as Chayes sees it, is an operating system of sophisticated networks in which government officials, key private-sector interests, and out-and-out criminals interweave. Their main objective: not to serve the public but to maximize returns for network members.
From the titans of America’s Gilded Age (Carnegie, Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, et al.) to the collapse of the stock market in 1929, the Great Depression and FDR’s New Deal; from the Clinton policies of political favors and personal enrichment to Trump’s hydra-headed network of corruption, systematically undoing the Constitution and our laws, Chayes shows how corrupt systems are organized, how they enforce the rules so their crimes are covered legally, how they are overlooked and downplayed–shrugged off with a roll of the eyes–by the richer and better educated, how they become an overt principle determining the shape of our government, affecting all levels of society.
SARAH CHAYES has served as special assistant on corruption to Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as having advised David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal (commanders of the International Security Assistant Force). She has been a reporter for National Public Radio from Paris, covering Europe and the Balkans. Chayes is the author of The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban and Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, winner of the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in Paw Paw, West Virginia.
Break 'Em Up is a passionate attack on the monopolies that are throttling American democracy. Every facet of American life is being overtaken by big platform monopolists like Facebook, Google, and Bayer (which has merged with the former agricultural giant Monsanto), resulting in a greater concentration of wealth and power than we've seen since the Gilded Age. They are evolving into political entities that often have more influence than the actual government, bending state and federal legislatures to their will and even creating arbitration courts that circumvent the US justice system. How can we recover our freedom from these giants? Anti-corruption scholar and activist Zephyr Teachout has the answer: Break 'Em Up.
This book is a clarion call for liberals and leftists looking to find a common cause. Teachout makes a compelling case that monopolies are the root cause of many of the issues that today's progressives care about; they drive economic inequality, harm the planet, limit the political power of average citizens, and historically-disenfranchised groups bear the brunt of their shameful and irresponsible business practices. In order to build a better future, we must eradicate monopolies from the private sector and create new safeguards that prevent new ones from seizing power. Teachout offers a concrete path toward thwarting these enemies of working Americans and reclaiming our democracy before it’s too late.
ZEPHYR TEACHOUT is an attorney, political activist, and anti-trust and corruption expert. A rising star on the left, her campaign for New York Attorney General in 2018 was endorsed by Bernie Sanders, the New York Times, and others. She was part of the team of lawyers that sued Donald Trump for allegedly violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution. Teachout sits on the board of directors of the Open Markets Institute, and teaches law at Fordham University. She lives in Clinton, NY.