Top 10 political corruption books for your next read
Top 10 political books themed on 'corruption':
- Macbeth by William Shakespeare
- Corruption in America - From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United by Zephyr Teachout
- The Case that Shook India: The verdict that led to the emergency by Prashant Bhushan
- Kickback: Exposing the Global Corporate Bribery Network by David Montero
- Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Tom Wright and Braley Hope
- Nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore
- The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Times's Misreporting, Distortions and Fabrications Radically Alter History by Ashley Rindsberg
- The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution by Ayn Rand
- The Monsanto Papers - Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man’s Search for Justice by Carey Gillam
- WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by David Leigh, Luke Harding
Remember when India saw its largest Anti-Corruption movement in 2011? It’s been a decade since we experienced a unanimous raising of voice against something that is even today a part of our daily lives.
9th of December is celebrated as International Anti-Corruption Day to raise public awareness of how $1 trillion is paid in bribes every year while an estimated $2.6 trillion is stolen under various corrupted schemes. This sum is literally equivalent to 5% of the global GDP!
Sharing some curated reads that cover ‘corruption’ as a theme for you to enjoy as they are all thrilling to read!
Do share more recommendations, reviews, and thoughts with our community at merrative.com!
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it.
Macbeth is a drama of superstition, bloodshed, and desire for power. It pictures the suffering of a man surrendering to the evil wishes of passion and power.
“From the very beginning of the play, Shakespeare’s plot moves quickly from royal prophecy to bloodshed to massacre to madness and finally to its gripping conclusion. Don’t be fooled by the fancy language; this is a fast-paced story! ― A Great Real Place
Corruption in America — From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United by Zephyr Teachout
Like liberty, speech, or equality, corruption is an important concept with unclear boundaries. It refers to excessive private interests in the public sphere; an act is corrupt when private interests trump public ones in the exercise of public power, and a person is corrupt when they use public power for their own ends, disregarding others.
This book is on the lines of the history of the idea of ‘corruption’ and also what the historical leaders and decision-makers have done to curb the same. It’s an academic examination of corruption in The United States of America.
“You have probably heard pundits say we are living in an age of ‘legalized bribery’; ‘Corruption in America’ is the book that makes their case in careful detail.” — NYTimes
The Case that Shook India: The verdict that led to the emergency by Prashant Bhushan
In a coup planned and executed with ruthless military efficiency Mrs Gandhi that night transformed the country from a working democracy into a dictatorship.
This book is a legal and historical document in which the author, advocate Prashant Bhushan provides the complete picture of the inside and outside court proceedings. This includes bribes and threats given, deceits inflicted and lies promoted as truth. It also showcases how in order to save PM’s elections, the ruling government can misuse legislative power. The author was a prominent member of the group India Against Corruption (IAC) and worked alongside Anna Hazare for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill.
“An invaluable, historical document…being re-issued when new questions are being asked about the independance of the judiciary from the PMO.” — Caravan
Kickback: Exposing the Global Corporate Bribery Network by David Montero
Bribery, unlike other crimes, often plays out slowly, with secret payments flowing between a company and the government over the course of years, if not decades, so its impact is not obvious until long after money or power has changed hands. The result is a slow motion disaster, leaving economic, political and social damage that cannot be detected unless someone begins to look for it.
The author investigates and writes about the corporate bribery scandals of the past two and one-half centuries including eighteenth-century machinations of British East India. This book shows the relationship between business and politics and how they together induce corruption.
“Kickbacks, [Montero] demonstrates, are the ‘cost of doing business.’ But by the end of his book, one is left with the impression that the cost, whatever it might be, is far too high.” — Bloomberg
Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Tom Wright and Braley Hope
The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths, it has its pearls too.
Imagine someone from a prestigious institution like the Wharton School of Business pulling off a heist that would symbolize the next significant threat to the global financial system. It’s a story of how a man siphoned money in billions from an investment fund to finance elections, movies like The Wolf of Wall Street and buy real estate.
“As Bad Blood is to biotech, Billion Dollar Whale is to international finance… a wonderful read… Thrilling.”― Bill Gates
Nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore
Yes, this is the logic of the Nation. And it will never heed the voice of truth and goodness. It will go on in its ring dance of moral corruption, linking steel unto steel, and machine unto machine; trampling under its tread all the sweet flowers of simple faith and the living ideals of man.
Based on lectures delivered by Rabindranath Tagore during the First World War, Nationalism covers the ideas of politics and war. Tagore urged his readership in USA and Japan to rethink their political arrogance as nations went into wars in Europe and India into the Swadeshi movement. The lectures were somewhat prophetic and poetic in nature. It showcases his views on humanity, nationalism and spirituality as well.
For him, the Nation was the political side and the scientific, logical side of profit maximisation, but he never wanted it to be the end and the highest purpose of humanity. He vehemently supported the ideal of the human who is loving, compassionate and, above all, a universal human devoid of hatred against the human race. ― Manish Dutta, The Armchair Journal
The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Times's Misreporting, Distortions and Fabrications Radically Alter History by Ashley Rindsberg
As McWhorter points out, critical theory considers logic, reason’s most fundamental tool, to be a social construct that serves power.
The book makes you understand how powerful media is by diving deeper into the works of The New York Times - the most popular and respected American media brand. The book unfolds wars, protests, or revolutions that got triggered due to the reporting methods and the 'creation of news' by the newspaper. It cautions us with facts and examples of the working of one of the oldest media institutions in the world.
“The New York Times is by far the most influential newspaper in the world and thus receives far too little journalistic scrutiny due to its power to affect careers. Any book that casts a critical eye on the Paper of Record's history, as this book does, is performing a valuable service.” ― Glenn Greenwald, Journalist
The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution by Ayn Rand
No political system can establish universal rationality by law (or by force). But capitalism is the only system that functions in a way which rewards rationality and penalizes all forms of irrationality, including racism.
This book throws light into the 'New Left' movement by American youth of the late 70s and early 60s. It helps understand the ideology behind the movement, while also urging the audience to value capitalism, technological progress and philosophy. If you grab the expanded version, ideas like environmentalism, feminism, etc are also examined.
"If you are even thinking about reading this book you will have some preconceived sentiment, either positive or negative, towards the author before opening the cover. I also presume that the majority's sentiment would be positive. I had mixed feelings about Ayn Rand before reading this book, and I have mixed feelings about her after reading this book. But one thing I know is that I am better off for having read the book. It challenges the way we (I at least) were (was) raised to view the world. The paradigm through which I had viewed the world before reading this book resulted in me progressing to a point of stagnation and frustration. Disembodied worry floating through repetitive days of life 'of quiet desperation', with no foreseeable right way forward in a life where nothing is 'knowable"'. ― Thomas, Goodreads Review
The Monsanto Papers - Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man’s Search for Justice by Carey Gillam
The city of Anniston, Alabama, became so polluted from a Monsanto PCB plant that residents won a $700 million settlement in 2003. Residents said that the company knew about the toxic effects of PCBs for decades but did nothing to protect their health or to protect the area's water and soil from contamination.
But as the company's business grew, so did public distrust. Monsanto became commonly known as 'Monsatan' to critics and activists who believed the company was dangerously tinkering with Mother Nature's food supply and polluting the environment with its Roundup herbicides and other chemicals.
The Monsanto Papers is a deep dive into the legal fight with the corporate giant by former Monsanto employee, Lee Johnson, who caught Cancer as a result of the company's negligence. The battle sheds many other sins committed by Monsanto in the process. It makes everyone wonder about the existence of corporate accountability and shocks you about how a corporate can hide its misdeeds for decades in plain sight.
The Monsanto Papers is a gripping read that provides an easy-to-follow explanation of how this litigation unfolded, how the jurors reached their verdict and why Bayer appears to be, in effect, throwing up a white flag now. Gillam uses transcripts of trial testimony and key depositions to good effect, pointing out how Monsanto executives said one thing to one another and something else to the public — not unlike how the tobacco industry behaved for decades. ― ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by David Leigh, Luke Harding
Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, was a computer hacker of genius. He could be charming, capable of deadpan humour and wit. But he could also be waspish, flaring into anger and recrimination. Assange's mercurial temperament spawned groupies and enemies, supporters and ill-wishers, sometimes even in the same person. Information messiah or cyber-terrorist? Freedom fighter or sociopath? Moral crusader or deluded narcissist? The debate over Assange would reverberate in the coming weeks in headlines the world over.
The book provides a third-person perspective and deep insights into Wikileaks' whistleblowing saga. It unfolds the effects Wikileaks has had on global political scenes, international relations and local government policies. It also dives deeper into the personality of Julian Assange, its founder and the leaked documents shared.
"Most of the book deals with the documented story of Wikileaks, only more analytically and with a level of perspective that has built up over the ensuing months. It also takes a bit of a dim view of Assange himself and one can sense a clear vein of arrogance that constantly seeks to downplay the efforts of Wikileaks and Assange and highlight the work of the Guardian in bringing the whole thing to light. Therefore it is less the story of Wikileaks itself and more the story of 'this Wikileaks business' from the rather self-righteous outlook of The Guardian.
But still, I wouldn't say the book is filled with lies and slander, far from it. The Guardian lives up to its reputation for good journalism and tries to remain objective and open to reason despite its constant monkey-praising-its-own-tail self-congratulatory tone." ― Halik, Goodreads Review
Hope you enjoy this list! If you have more recommendations or have read any of these books, share your takeaways and review them with the community at — merrative.com!