(I give this book 4-1/2 stars)
It's important to be factual here. My copy of this extraordinarily well researched book is the 5th edition, published in 1988. I see a lot of nonsense being put out against this book and would like to touch on 4 of them:
1. Texan Kevin K Gorman (Nov 12, 2002) says in his review that "McCarthyism is a commi word." Nonsense, unless Kevin is from another planet or has stepped from being a humble patriot to being a nationalist, McCarthy is a recognized shameful smudge on this great country. Nothing to do with Commie anything and the word is known the world over to be synonymus with arrogance and repression of individuals. And then "Plutocracy" is not a "commie word" either, it is an acceptable term in Political Science, used for when money controls a society. Comes from Greek ploutos which means wealth, so to explain: Rather than one vote, one man, a Plutocracy would be one dollar, one vote, one thousand dollars one thousand votes. Nothing commi[e] here either but has to do with explaining corruption in a Democracy. Also I checked in my copy on page 82 and see nothing about "electromagnetic mind control from satalites [sic] (p. 82)!". So some people shouldn't write reviews if they are unable to comprehend the meaning in the books they are reading or unable to understand basic facts. Sticking to facts is important.
2. Then Michael Gordon claims that Parenti doesn't want Americans to have cars. Come on! That is ridiculous. That is not a book review. Sticking to facts is important.
3. Matt Nuenke says it is just filled with venom and hate. Very superficial critique of Matt and inability to accept that all countries have some shortcomings to work out, starting by talking about the issues. This is a Political Science book and must be read as such. It certainly is a relief from the unstopping $$$ brainwashing going on in most of our TV's. Sticking to facts is important.
4. Tim Kidd claims that most of the quotes are from People's weekly, The Nation etc. In fact as I am looking at the list of the incredible number of Parenti's quotes, I see most of them are from these newspapers: The New York Times, Washington Post and The Guardian [all VERY reputable] along with a host of books written by various scholars on the numerous societal issues that are important to all of us in the USA. Also, Tim says "most of his citations are from 1985 or earlier." Well, my copy of the book is 5th edition, published in 1988, so it is perfectly normal for Parenti to use sources 1986 and older. Check your facts, Tim, before writing a silly review, Oh yes, and the book is NOT written with a single quote from the Z Magazine. Check this on [...] that Z Magazine was founded in 1988! that is AFTER Parenti's book is written. Sticking to facts is important, Tim! And yes, I did find ONE quote from the Nation Magazine, in the hundreds of quotes throughout the book maybe there is another one somewhere, but I did find dozens after dozens just from New York Times alone. Almost one on every page.
I do agree that quoting ones own book is not a great way to write based on research, but that I see in a couple of places.
So here we have right-wing reviewers who disagree with an authors politics. These "reviewers" keep refering to "leftist" or "commie" or "hate america" type of name calling. The same reviewers have to resort to lies or hateful wording to "review" the book. One wants the author to die in a horrible accident. This says a lot about these individuals who wrote that stuff and I think Amazon should remove their reviews.
Not very objective I must say. One can disagree with people's politics, but the basic is to at least try and write accurate reviews. At least factual. Stick to facts. Buy the book and find out for yourself. I personally found it a great read and very insightful into the issues of our great country.
BTW, I think every REAL american should read this book.