VII .#37 September 10, 2007 americanfreepress.net
Page 13, AMERICAN
FREE PRESS * September 10, 2007 AFP ON THE BOOKSHELF: Review by Michael Collins Piper
Who Are These People
Follow up volume to `Who's Running the World'
at FIRST AMENDMENT BOOKS
By Michael Collins Piper
.Many AFP readers are familiar with Melissa Rossi’s earlier work, What Every American Should Know About Who’s Really Running the World, a lively and free-wheeling examination of a topic that a lot of people would rather not discuss. Well, Rossi’s back with a follow-up, entitled What Every American Should Know About Who’s Really Running America.
Rossi’s new book may not be the last word on the subject, and she’s got her own pet peeves and political bias—just as we all do, whether we’re ready to admit it or not—but this is a friendly, easy-to-read, never-too-heavy-handed and often-times-entertaining look at a very serious subject.
There will be readers who will object to Rossi’s opinions on subjects various and sundry since the writer often betrays a traditional “leftist” slant, but those readers who are able to put aside their own bias will still find interesting what Rossi has to say, even if they don’t necessary agree with all of her assessments. However, in this 287-page work, the author manages to cram in quite a bit of interesting information on a wide variety of topics that revolve around the theme of what might loosely be described as “money and politics.”
In Rossi’s own words, her book is “about how thugs took over the steering wheel of our country—but they didn’t yank it by force, they won it with money. This is a book about how our government has been corroded inside and out.”
A populist tome certain to enrage both hard-core Democrats and Republicans alike, this book demonstrates that both major parties are beholden to powerful financial interests, agenda-driven political action committees and big money donors.
Rossi examines a number of recent corruption scandals on Capitol Hill, outlines the corporate and big money connections of a host of high-ranking and well-known members of Congress, and exposes the way in which lobbyists and other spin-meisters make their influence felt in official Washington. There’s a lot of carefully-cited data here, interesting quotations, facts and figures—all in all a pretty fair summary of how power politics really works behind the scenes when big money is factored into the equation.
Ironically, although Rossi targets the big money boys, she seems to veer off course when she tackles the subject of immigration in one chapter and, rather than condemning the powerful corporate interests that are profiting from the open border between the United States and Mexico, she instead spends most of her time attacking grassroots Americans and others who have raised questions about untrammeled immigration. This is a case where Rossi definitely falls down on the job. So, as we noted, Rossi does have her axes to grind and many AFP readers will definitely differ with Rossi on this issue, as, undoubtedly, with her views on many others.
It should be noted, though, that Rossi is not afraid to take on the so-called “neo-conservatives” in the Bush administration and its sphere of influence and their ties to Israel. In fact, she even dares to point out—as AFP has done time and again—that many of the top “neocons” have been investigated over the years by the FBI and the Justice Department on suspicion of espionage for Israel. So Rossi has some guts that a lot of journalists don’t, and that’s to her credit.
The big oil and nuclear energy interests, the automotive giants and the prescription drug companies won’t like this book, nor will their paid agents and bought-and-paid-for legislative lackeys in Congress. But the average citizen who wants a no-holds-barred look at the backstage dealings of “their” elected officials and the appointed bureaucrats in Washington will get an inside look at what’s really going on in American politics today.
(Issue #37, September 10, 2007, AMERICAN