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In his most provocative and caustically funny book yet, Greg Palast, author of the national bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, once again gives us the straight scoop on the stories that Big Media won?t report. Digging up reams of documents marked ?secret? and ?confidential,? Palast provides the latest lowdown on Bush?s secret plans to seize Iraq?s oil, the fix In his most provocative and caustically funny book yet, Greg Palast, author of the national bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, once again gives us the straight scoop on the stories that Big Media won?t report. Digging up reams of documents marked ?secret? and ?confidential,? Palast provides the latest lowdown on Bush?s secret plans to seize Iraq?s oil, the fix planned for the 2008 election, who drowned New Orleans, and the horror and the humor of the War on Terror. With diligent detective work, moral outrage, and a keen sense of the absurd, Palast takes on the ?armed and dangerous clowns that rule us? as only he can.


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In his most provocative and caustically funny book yet, Greg Palast, author of the national bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, once again gives us the straight scoop on the stories that Big Media won?t report. Digging up reams of documents marked ?secret? and ?confidential,? Palast provides the latest lowdown on Bush?s secret plans to seize Iraq?s oil, the fix In his most provocative and caustically funny book yet, Greg Palast, author of the national bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, once again gives us the straight scoop on the stories that Big Media won?t report. Digging up reams of documents marked ?secret? and ?confidential,? Palast provides the latest lowdown on Bush?s secret plans to seize Iraq?s oil, the fix planned for the 2008 election, who drowned New Orleans, and the horror and the humor of the War on Terror. With diligent detective work, moral outrage, and a keen sense of the absurd, Palast takes on the ?armed and dangerous clowns that rule us? as only he can.

30 review for Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans--Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laura Noggle

    Today I found this book residing in a box that lives in the closet. It immediately transported me back to 2008: I was a young expat living in Taiwan, earning an eastern perspective of the US (and an MA in China Studies). I could almost smell the stinky tofu and the humidity as I flipped through the pages. It's impossible for me to think about this book without remembering the special friend who recommended it. This book will forever serve as a snapshot of my life at the time I read it, more so Today I found this book residing in a box that lives in the closet. It immediately transported me back to 2008: I was a young expat living in Taiwan, earning an eastern perspective of the US (and an MA in China Studies). I could almost smell the stinky tofu and the humidity as I flipped through the pages. It's impossible for me to think about this book without remembering the special friend who recommended it. This book will forever serve as a snapshot of my life at the time I read it, more so than the actual content. It stands out as a marker of my transitioning political world-view, and the fact that I was somehow able to convince my lifelong Republican father to read it too. Overall, it is an "entertaining" read and caustically funny—if you can laugh at, instead of be depressed by US politics.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cwn_annwn_13

    In spite of him exhibiting some of the most annoying and hypocritical tendencies of his demographic (Jewish leftist) by doing things like referring to residents of a small town in rural New York as "inbred Farmers" and referring to an annual festival there as an "annoying white folks ritual" I think Palasts work is very good at exposing some of the rotten things going on with politicians and corporations. A good bulk of this book is dedicated to exposing the fraud that "peak oil" and the lie In spite of him exhibiting some of the most annoying and hypocritical tendencies of his demographic (Jewish leftist) by doing things like referring to residents of a small town in rural New York as "inbred Farmers" and referring to an annual festival there as an "annoying white folks ritual" I think Palasts work is very good at exposing some of the rotten things going on with politicians and corporations. A good bulk of this book is dedicated to exposing the fraud that "peak oil" and the lie that we are running out of it is and how big oil profits by pushing this scam. Palast also makes a very convincing case that the main push for the war in Iraq came from big oil corporations because they wanted to supress Iraqi oil production because more oil=drop in prices per barrell=less profit for oil companies. Another reason they wanted Saddam out of the picture because he didn't play the oil game as directed. Iraqi oil made the oil market jump up and down according to Husseins whims. Sometimes he would pump up oil production to maximun allowed under the "Oil for Food" program and sometimes he would cut it off. Big oil could not control oil prices with Saddam doing what he was doing. Therefore hundreds of thousands of people are dead now because of a war thats justification was based on lies. There is also a lot that shows why Venezuelas Hugo Chavez is demonized in the western media. The reasons in a brief summary are he doesn't kow tow to the BPs, Chevrons, Exxons of the world. Besides that Palast shows how the Republicans stole the 2004 election, (how they stole the 2000 election is in another book written by Palast) by getting votes thrown out and kept from being counted in places that generally speaking people do not vote Republican. Also Armed Madhouse gives several examples how Corporations, "free trade" and Globalism is screwing Americans over and the sneaky way they get laws passed that allow them to do it. Overall this is a very good read that contains information more people need to know. Palast is one of the better investigative journalists out there.

  3. 4 out of 5

    J

    This is an informative and often insightful book that attempts to substantiate the notion that both the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq are primarily about oil, but in a way that stands opposed to many accounts reported in the alternative media and blogosphere. Most interesting in this regard is Palast's chapter on post-invasion Iraqi oil policy as demonstrating a long-standing conflict between Big Oil and Neoconservatives that has been more recently resolved in favor of Big Oil, hence This is an informative and often insightful book that attempts to substantiate the notion that both the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq are primarily about oil, but in a way that stands opposed to many accounts reported in the alternative media and blogosphere. Most interesting in this regard is Palast's chapter on post-invasion Iraqi oil policy as demonstrating a long-standing conflict between Big Oil and Neoconservatives that has been more recently resolved in favor of Big Oil, hence the skyrocketing price of crude. Palast also dedicates two lengthy chapters to electoral spoilage in US elections -- the ways in which votes (overwhelmingly Democratic votes, that is) go uncounted -- describing in detail the myriad Republican methods of achieving undervotes, non votes, hanging chads, or simply barring people of color from the poles. Palast, who broke stories of electoral fraud in Florida in 2000 and numerous states in 2004 for the BBC and British newspapers, estimates that approximately 3 million (again, predominantly Democratic) votes went uncounted in 2004 alone, clearly accounting for Bush's surprising come-from-behind victory (over and above the data reported in exit polls across the country). The chapters on electoral fraud make for urgent, albeit dispiriting, reading, and it is perhaps the disheartening aspect of his findings that contributes to Palast's style: sarcastic, flippant, snarky; the tough guy pose of despair. That, however, was really the only drawback in an otherwise fine piece of reporting.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Trashy Pit

    You know Greg Palast, right? You don’t know Greg!?! You’re kidding me! Pick this book up right now. Palast is one of those rare combinations of really smart, very cool, and EXTREMELY FUNNY all rolled into one. On top of all that, he’s actually a journalist who does this really strange thing that other journalists no longer do: He actually investigates the subjects he writes about. This means that while all the other journalists are just writing down what politicians, generals, corporate execs, You know Greg Palast, right? You don’t know Greg!?! You’re kidding me! Pick this book up right now. Palast is one of those rare combinations of really smart, very cool, and EXTREMELY FUNNY all rolled into one. On top of all that, he’s actually a journalist who does this really strange thing that other journalists no longer do: He actually investigates the subjects he writes about. This means that while all the other journalists are just writing down what politicians, generals, corporate execs, and media pundits say without ever checking to see if any of it is true, then collect their fat paychecks and go home, Palast is investigating the dirty facts behind the media bullshit to see if all those people are lying to you (and of course they are). In other words, whereas most journalists are really just repeaters not reporters, Palast is an investigator. For that reason, he can’t get a job in the US, so he is in exile in the UK. And the media here won’t publish or even mention any of his articles, even though he is regularly employed by the BBC. All the more reason for you to check him out. He’s actually the one who uncovered a bunch of crazy shit that you only heard about much later. When you read his books, you’ll say: Oh, he was the one who found that out? And did I mention he has a really good sense of humor? I like that.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Here is another compendium of political and corporate con men who would sell your future and your children's future to the highest bidder (or give it away to their political friends). Everyone thinks that George Bush had a secret plan to seize Iraq's oil. Actually, there were 2 secret plans. The neo-con/Pentagon plan involved privatizing, or selling off, Iraq's vast oil reserves to foreign companies. When all those oil wells start pumping, ignoring their OPEC quota (insurgency? what insurgency?), Here is another compendium of political and corporate con men who would sell your future and your children's future to the highest bidder (or give it away to their political friends). Everyone thinks that George Bush had a secret plan to seize Iraq's oil. Actually, there were 2 secret plans. The neo-con/Pentagon plan involved privatizing, or selling off, Iraq's vast oil reserves to foreign companies. When all those oil wells start pumping, ignoring their OPEC quota (insurgency? what insurgency?), the world market would be flooded with oil, causing the price to plummet. OPEC would be forced out of business, and, coincidentally, Saudi Arabia, the real target, would be forced to its financial knees. A problem with this is the assumption that the oil fields would remain undamaged in an American invasion. Also, it would be silly to think that Saudi Arabia would sit back and let this happen. Whenever other OPEC countries have ignored their quota, the Saudis have opened their oil spigots, flooding the market and causing the price to drop, forcing the offending country into bankruptcy. Also, the major oil companies made it very clear that privatizing Iraqi oil would not be acceptable. But they had no problem with the privatizing of the rest of Iraq, including the sale of banks and water companies, big tax cuts for wealthy Iraqis, a complete elimination of tariffs and new copyright laws protecting American companies. The State Department/Council on Foreign Relations plan involved keeping the Iraqi government as is, especially the state oil monopoly. It also envisioned the removal of Saddam Hussein as taking no more than THREE DAYS. Hussein would be overthrown, some Iraqi general dismissed by Hussein in the 1980s (it didn't matter who) would come in by parachute, he would be given the keys to Iraq's political and security apparatus, and snap elections would be held in 90 days to legitimize everything. Simple, no? Once the Pentagon got wind of it, the three-day part didn't last very long. Saddam Hussein's "crime," the reason he was removed from power, had nothing to do with being a tyrant, or WMD, or gassing the Kurds of Halabja. When it came to oil production, one week he would suddenly decide to support the Palestinian cause, and not pump any oil at all. The next week, he would forget about the Palestinians, and pump right up to the Oil for Food limit. Singlehandedly turning the world oil market into a yo-yo upset Big Oil and the Council on Foreign Relations, among others. It's all about control of the oil market, and Hussein was not cooperating. This book is about much more than just Iraq. Palast goes into great detail about how the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen by the Republicans. Any number of methods have come to life, from using supposed lists of felons, to sending not enough machines to black districts, to machines in those same districts that miscount or don't count votes at a much greater rate than in white districts, to uncounted paper ballots in the tens of thousands. In Native American districts in the Southwest, if one accepts the "official" results, many Native Americans would drive miles and miles to the polling place, and specifically NOT vote for President. What are Democrats doing about this, if only to be sure that it never happens again? Little or nothing. This book also covers subjects like globalization, New Orleans, No Child Left Behind and Enron. By themselves, any of the chapters in this book are worth the price of the book. Put them together, and this book easily reaches the level of Wow. It's an extraordinary piece of journalism, and is extremely highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Algernon

    Greg Palast is an investigative journalist from New Jersey who works for BBC News, telling stories there that American news media don't like to cover. Palast is also a humorist, an outraged patriot, and his entertaining side too often upstages his journalist side. The film-maker Michael Moore suffers from a similar syndrome. As you read this book, taking in a flood of information Palast uncovers about election fraud, neo-conservative crackpots in government, the influence of the oil industry, and Greg Palast is an investigative journalist from New Jersey who works for BBC News, telling stories there that American news media don't like to cover. Palast is also a humorist, an outraged patriot, and his entertaining side too often upstages his journalist side. The film-maker Michael Moore suffers from a similar syndrome. As you read this book, taking in a flood of information Palast uncovers about election fraud, neo-conservative crackpots in government, the influence of the oil industry, and other components of how the American politics and economics function to enrich the privileged at the expense of workers (while leaving the poor to drown, sometimes literally, as we saw in New Orleans in 2005) - you might ask yourself whether the book's tone allows it to address the skeptical reader, the reader who might not have made up their minds about these matters, who hasn't already heard some or all of these stories. The answer, certainly, is no. This book departs from sources constantly for diverting passages of droll (sometimes profane) mockery of the accused. If Palast is putting anyone on trial, it is the kind of mock trial staged at protests, not a disciplined case presented to a jury for deliberation. Persuading the undecided or the skeptical is not the point. Palast is entertaining a converted audience. Constantly, I found myself wanting fewer jokes and more sources. For instance, reading about the electoral fraud, I became interested in the provisional ballot counts. Palast's numbers do not resemble other counts I looked for. That in itself isn't surprising, given Palast's subject matter. I wouldn't expect the official tally to match Palast's - but where DID Palast get his numbers, as opposed to the official count or, for that matter, numbers reported by other watchdog groups? The book does, however, accomplish a rather good explanation of a very complicated story: the invasion if Iraq, and the fight behind the scenes between two important factions within the Bush Administration. It isn't easy to write a coherent summary of this conflict and how it played out. That is the book's major achievement.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David

    This book is excellent. Made me laugh sometimes but more often it made me angry, frustrated and sad. I learned quite a bit about Big Oil, Neo-Cons, how the war in Iraq for some is a fight for oil and for others a fight to keep it in the ground. I learned more about this Bush era and how elections, the voting process, has become a charade, an almost meaningless means to maintain the power where the powers that be believe it belongs: certainly not with the people. Palast doesn't hold back tearing This book is excellent. Made me laugh sometimes but more often it made me angry, frustrated and sad. I learned quite a bit about Big Oil, Neo-Cons, how the war in Iraq for some is a fight for oil and for others a fight to keep it in the ground. I learned more about this Bush era and how elections, the voting process, has become a charade, an almost meaningless means to maintain the power where the powers that be believe it belongs: certainly not with the people. Palast doesn't hold back tearing into the likes of Bill Richardson, Al Gore, The New York Times, etc. He mainly goes after the big lies we have been sold by this Republican regime. I recommend it to anyone who needs any further disillusionment about the class war in this country. I recommend it to everyone. I won't give up on this country because that's what they want us to do. The end of the book was a little repetitive but I didn't mind. The last page made up for it and everything. There is hope. When people have had enough, when they are motivated, organized they can change things. "When we fight. We win."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Fuller

    I'm torn between giving this one 4 stars (to me, a book I'd recommend heartily to people with similar interests) or 5 (a book that I'll be pushing into lots of hands and giving as gifts to get people to read it). I'm settling on 4, though, because I'm sure the very partisan stance and snide tone will turn off some people, even though I liked it. That said, however, if even 1/3 of the information here is true, things are much, much worse for the U.S. and the world at the moment than I ever I'm torn between giving this one 4 stars (to me, a book I'd recommend heartily to people with similar interests) or 5 (a book that I'll be pushing into lots of hands and giving as gifts to get people to read it). I'm settling on 4, though, because I'm sure the very partisan stance and snide tone will turn off some people, even though I liked it. That said, however, if even 1/3 of the information here is true, things are much, much worse for the U.S. and the world at the moment than I ever imagined (and I have a good imagination). This should be required reading for every American before the next presidential election. Unfortunately, Palast's tone will probably alienate most of the potential readers who don't already share his basic distrust of our current administration, and maybe some others who do but are not yet virulent in their dislike of GWB. But there is a lot of food for thought and discussion here, and it's all stuff that should be thought long and hard about, and discussed as much as possible. Read it, please.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Taylor

    Terrific investigative work from Palast as always. What I like most about GP is that he is not partisan or PC, and is willing to dish it out to both parties (I'm one of those leftists who likes to see Clinton fans squirm uncomfortably). Even more refreshingly, he takes the time to get past the usual, half-baked conspiracy theories surrounding the Iraq war (for instance), and only after meticulous scrutiny of the available facts, will put together his version of the "what really happened" Terrific investigative work from Palast as always. What I like most about GP is that he is not partisan or PC, and is willing to dish it out to both parties (I'm one of those leftists who likes to see Clinton fans squirm uncomfortably). Even more refreshingly, he takes the time to get past the usual, half-baked conspiracy theories surrounding the Iraq war (for instance), and only after meticulous scrutiny of the available facts, will put together his version of the "what really happened" narrative. In the case of the Iraq invasion by Bushco, his explanation is a lot less satisfying, and a lot more messy, from a ideological (or anti-ideological) standpoint, but it has a credible sense of reality to it. My only complaint is that Palast sometimes throws information at the reader with firehose velocity, so that I have to read more slowly than I normally would, despite the simple, conversational prose.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    The book details many of the down sides of the Bush presidency, going back to many documented and some new reports of election fraud from the 2000 and 2004 elections. Some of the economic theories and free trade discussions need a little more explaination, and other policy failure discussions of the past eight years have been discussed enough over the years so that it's no longer breaking news. Book has become somewhat dated following the 2008 election. Obama is in, and Bush is out, and it's The book details many of the down sides of the Bush presidency, going back to many documented and some new reports of election fraud from the 2000 and 2004 elections. Some of the economic theories and free trade discussions need a little more explaination, and other policy failure discussions of the past eight years have been discussed enough over the years so that it's no longer breaking news. Book has become somewhat dated following the 2008 election. Obama is in, and Bush is out, and it's time to move on.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christian Bauman

    Just remembered...wanted to mention this one. Read this one a while ago, but it's worth mentioning now because of the looming election. Palast is another client of Agent Diana, so perhaps there's a bias, but whatever. He's great. Read this now, though, before November, to get your head wrapped around how easy it is to steal an election and then make it look like nothing happened.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Obviously biased, but I knew that going in. Books like this on the right or the left are probably a waste of time. Debates are more informative. I waste more of my time reading books I agree with though, which is probably even a bigger waste of time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sean Hall

    Important journalism that seems to get no national media attention.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Harold

    Mostly ok, but I get a gut feeling that the data is skewed. I'm not sure I find the author fully credible even though I am on the same side politically.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karla

    Greg Palast books are must-read if you care about what is happening in the world and the people in it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    High 3. Just as the blurb indicates on the cover, Palast writes with razor-sharp wit to be a persuasive and readable voice of the left, unearthing what lies behind American policy on the War on Terror. As he surmises, in 1933 Roosevelt becalmed a nation by stating: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself", while George Bush's presidency could best be described as: 'We have nothing to sell but fear itself'. The author catalogues the baseless actions of both Bush's and Blair's governments in High 3. Just as the blurb indicates on the cover, Palast writes with razor-sharp wit to be a persuasive and readable voice of the left, unearthing what lies behind American policy on the War on Terror. As he surmises, in 1933 Roosevelt becalmed a nation by stating: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself", while George Bush's presidency could best be described as: 'We have nothing to sell but fear itself'. The author catalogues the baseless actions of both Bush's and Blair's governments in 'defending' the West against the forces of terrorism which the author states do not constitute an organised armed force. In fact, Palast reveals from inside sources how the security services were restrained from investigating the financing of both Al-Qaeda and the Taliban by the Saudi authorities, in the complicit agreement to prevent Russian or Iranian encroachments on the control of OPEC. Osama Bin Laden shared such fears and was motivated purely to defend oil reserves, even from American influence, which is why he demanded removal of US troops from Saudi Arabia. This was achieved when Bush gave Bin Laden exactly what he wanted in April 2003. This book provides evidence of the real winners of the War on Terror, from 'ChoicePoint' who provide data on every American citizen the government would not be allowed to gather, to the military conglomerates which benefit from ties to central players in the Bush administration. Palast also shows how American policy on the invasion of Iraq was motivated by control of the oil reserves. One of the most revealing explanations in the book concerns the influential report published by geologist, M. King Hubbert, in 1956 which predicted an end to the oil reserves Planet Earth could produce. The author denigrates this forecast and unveils the fact that Hubbert was the chief consultant on geology for 'Shell Oil' and that the context behind this doomsday scenario was the sinking price of crude oil due to the constant discovery of ever greater reserves. By reporting its scarcity, the price of oil could be raised substantially to be portrayed as acting in the public's own interests. Part of this policy was the creation of the 'price-fixing cartel', OPEC, in 1960. Since 1980 reserves, despite the modern binge on oil consumption, have risen from 648 billion to 1.2 trillion barrels, and yet, the price of crude has quadrupled between 2001 and 2005. The invasion of Iraq was also a question of controlling the price of oil as Iraq has the second largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia, and exploitation of such reserves would drown the oil market. Suppression of Iraq's oil production began with an agreement struck by the main oil producers in 1927 and continued through OPEC's enforced quota system. To keep Iraqi dissent to a minimum, the Saudis bought compliance by funding the war against Iran and Saddam's 'Islamic bomb' programme, until his patience ran out with Kuwait's craven siphoning of border-land oil fields jointly owned by the Iraqis led to the invasion of 1990. Moreover, Saddam's frequent and erratic actions of boosting or cutting oil production led to sudden jumps and falls in the price of oil to the annoyance of the major producers. Thus, the removal of Saddam became a priority, but with the invasion accomplished, those in the State Department who shared the oil chiefs' view that the Iraqi president would be the only change and that Ba'athist state control of the oil industry would continue, found their plans derailed by the neo-conservatives entrenched in the Pentagon, such as Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, who regarded the full-scale privatisation of all Iraqi assets, including the oil industry, as a means to break OPEC domination. The latter's appointee as viceroy of occupied Iraq in April 2003, Paul Bremer, placed national elections and democracy on hold, while establishing an economic plan which devastated Iraqi industry to achieve a free market to be flooded by Western goods. The author not only reveals that any neo-conservative plan to oust the House of Saud as the power behind the throne of oil production was ignorant of the realities of the power relationship, but the removal of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz signalled pressure from the American oil corporations to return policy in Iraq to defend OPEC. Aside from unveiling the truth behind the invasion of Iraq, Palast accuses Bush of having stolen the presidency through ballot-rigging in 2004. As Stalin remarked: 'It's not the people who vote that count; it's the peoplw who count the votes'. The author considers the 2004 presidential campaign as demonstrating that those who ensure which votes don't get counted won the election. According to Palast, over three million votes cast were never counted in 2004, and, in addition, millions more were prevented from casting their vote in the first place. Such electoral fraud repeated many of the outrageous aspects of the 2000 election result where Bush won Florida thanks to the removal of Black voters from the electoral register, denoted as felons when many had never even been arrested. Then there are the electoral precincts Bush won with a greater number of votes than there are voters. Palast has produced testimony to the anathema to the values enshrined in the American constitution that was the Bush presidency and should be read by far more American readers.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse was my 666, June 6th 2006, purchase. I got introduce to Greg Palast through being a fan of author Brian Wood. I went to Woods blog site and read an article about the Right Wing Conservative movements cronyism and practice of buying other Right wing authors books. The buying and dumping of friends books in huge quantities inflate said authors literary status. Example: Sarah Palin's rise in book stardom. Anyway. I snagged the book, showed my support for my new friend Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse was my 666, June 6th 2006, purchase. I got introduce to Greg Palast through being a fan of author Brian Wood. I went to Woods blog site and read an article about the Right Wing Conservative movements cronyism and practice of buying other Right wing authors books. The buying and dumping of friends books in huge quantities inflate said authors literary status. Example: Sarah Palin's rise in book stardom. Anyway. I snagged the book, showed my support for my new friend Greg because Ann Coulter had a book dropping the same day. I got about eighty pages in and due to school had to stop. I picked up Armed Madhouse at the beginning of the month and from page one started over. I've talked about a few books that reflect the Bush administration or how the world changed because the former President and if there was a jewel to site at the center of those fine works Armed Madhouse would be that jewel. From the reasoning behind the Iraq War to the Class War Palast weaves an eye opening account of the world with journalistic integrity at the center. This book with make you feel angry, small against the large world, laugh a bit and hopefully move you like it did me. Penned more than three years ago Armed Madhouse feels as important 06-06-06 as it does 10-27-09 and beyond. This is just another spark in the fire that pushes me to act and fight for progress and change but more importantly pushes me to learn more. To not just read for fun or entertainment to read for growth and intelligence. Next year when I write out my reading goal list added to said list is more books like Armed Madhouse.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Mr. Palast is a very angry journalist and he wants people to know why. To hear what they are not hearing about what is going on behind the scenes in this country, its corporations, politicians etc... The nice thing is unlike a lot of journalists, he tries to get documents that support his arguments. Some of which prove that invasion of Iraq was being planned well before 9/11, and that there was a lot of voting fraud in the 2004 elections that has likely NOT been corrected as we get ready to vote Mr. Palast is a very angry journalist and he wants people to know why. To hear what they are not hearing about what is going on behind the scenes in this country, its corporations, politicians etc... The nice thing is unlike a lot of journalists, he tries to get documents that support his arguments. Some of which prove that invasion of Iraq was being planned well before 9/11, and that there was a lot of voting fraud in the 2004 elections that has likely NOT been corrected as we get ready to vote again. He talks about No Child LEft Behind and how vouchers truly are useless for the impoverished child wanting a better education. About oil prices and why they really go up and down. There is a lot of economics in the book. And it is a fascinating read. He works with the BBC which gives him a lot of credibility in my book. And of course, things have gotten worse since this book was published and in patterns that these reports support. I think of many of the books I have read bashing and supporting the current administration's policies, this one seems much more "investigative with supporting evidence" than most. And he doesnt want people to accept what he says because he tells them to, but to evalute the evidence and think outside the box and big picture. Sometimes he gets a bit preachy but then these type of books usually do. But if nothing else, this is a good book to read, think about and encourage you to learn more about the issues to makeup your own mind and not let the politicians and media sound bites make it up for you. BEFORE you vote.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Scott DeVogelaere

    So far...Greg Palast is the investigative journalist who uncovered the Katherine Harris/Florida 2000 vote debacle that revealed the extent that Bush cronies would go to win the election. Even though he doesn't use sources in his book, which always makes me suspicious of a non-fiction writer, I am able to give him credence because of his work in Florida. Many of the things he discusses come from documents that happened to drop into his lap from a 'birdy', but they seem believable as the Bush So far...Greg Palast is the investigative journalist who uncovered the Katherine Harris/Florida 2000 vote debacle that revealed the extent that Bush cronies would go to win the election. Even though he doesn't use sources in his book, which always makes me suspicious of a non-fiction writer, I am able to give him credence because of his work in Florida. Many of the things he discusses come from documents that happened to drop into his lap from a 'birdy', but they seem believable as the Bush Administration unravels and many secrets come out late in his last year of office. He discusses the 'source' of information that convinced our country to go to war with Iraq, which has been proven false and from a man who had other motives - Chalabi, who was to take over the reins of government in Iraq. Then there are little tidbits of information that fill in unanswered questions I have had - like Pat Robertson's relation to the Bushs (his dad was Prescott Bush's mentor). The only beef I have with his book is his unnecessary criticism of Thomas Friedman, author of 'The World is Flat'. Palast's anger at the forces that be is misdirected at Friedman, who I think is just telling the reading public just how it is in the future of globalization...

  20. 5 out of 5

    CaliforniaGirl

    disenfranchisement is class warfare by other means. Greg Palast is who we should be seeing on the news instead of the crappy you decide what's real reporters we see on CNN & MSNBC. This book brings up so many topics every American should know about but probably never will: the war in Iraq, US meddling in Ecuador, for profit prisons (Wackenhut paid guards $7.95/hr in 1999...not the main point of the piece), scrubbing voter roles, democrats not fighting back, actively diminishing the quality of disenfranchisement is class warfare by other means. Greg Palast is who we should be seeing on the news instead of the crappy you decide what's real reporters we see on CNN & MSNBC. This book brings up so many topics every American should know about but probably never will: the war in Iraq, US meddling in Ecuador, for profit prisons (Wackenhut paid guards $7.95/hr in 1999...not the main point of the piece), scrubbing voter roles, democrats not fighting back, actively diminishing the quality of life for Europeans by removing their strong social programs. I wonder if Ellen DeGeneres & Jimmy Kimmel had read this before having George Bush on their shows if they would still long for the days of GWB. I guess as long as you don't use adult language & get in Twitter fights, it's okay to take away the right to vote from poor minorities, subvert democracy in other countries (and your own), and murder leaders of other nations (as long as those countries have oil). i absolutely love when Palast is on Democracy Now & Thom Hartmann but i think this will have to be my last book for the year...i just cannot take anymore depressing news about my country.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    This really is not a bad book. Part of the reason I gave it only two stars is because I am pretty much satiated when it comes to books about politics and the Bush administration (i.e. I don't need yet another person to tell me how bad Bush & Co. are, since it only reminds me of the many bozos out there who voted for him not once, but twice, but I disgress). Having gotten that out of the way, if you have to read one of these books that document the many foibles and outright outrageous acts of This really is not a bad book. Part of the reason I gave it only two stars is because I am pretty much satiated when it comes to books about politics and the Bush administration (i.e. I don't need yet another person to tell me how bad Bush & Co. are, since it only reminds me of the many bozos out there who voted for him not once, but twice, but I disgress). Having gotten that out of the way, if you have to read one of these books that document the many foibles and outright outrageous acts of this administration, this is definitely a pretty good one. Palast adds a sense of humor to what can be a pretty depressing topic. The book is very well informed, pretty good documentation overall too. The nice thing is that the book's chapters are organized into small segments, which means you can pick up and read sections here and there. The book does invite some browsing as well. So, if you have to read yet another book about current politics, this may be it. If like me, you are already tired of them, just skip it, and do try to skip the whole genre for a while. I know I will; this will probably be the last book on the topic I read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris Johnson

    Greg Palast is one of the last true journalists around - he actually does the long, laborious research, asks the ugly questions to people with something to hide, and then exposes the ugly, sordid mess in it's stark and acrid totality. Budding journalists must often hear of journalistic principles and the high standards they must live up to, but for my money, Palast is one of the ONLY members of his profession who strives to live up to those lofty principles of being a true and faithful servant Greg Palast is one of the last true journalists around - he actually does the long, laborious research, asks the ugly questions to people with something to hide, and then exposes the ugly, sordid mess in it's stark and acrid totality. Budding journalists must often hear of journalistic principles and the high standards they must live up to, but for my money, Palast is one of the ONLY members of his profession who strives to live up to those lofty principles of being a true and faithful servant of the public and an unbiased and uncorrupted member of the press - an indispensable arm of any democratic and open society which has the maturity to face itself and its problems. This man should be a hero to budding journalists and believers in democracy and the first amendment, and he inspires me to work towards a fairer, freer and more open world.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tegan

    I'd like to start by saying that Greg Palast's writing style drives me mad. He writes like he talks—in rapid spurts, jumping from topic to topic without the slightest explanation of where his rambling story is headed or why he's telling it in the first place. If you can somehow mine your way through this convoluted text, however, the reward is entirely worth it. Palast's reporting is top-notch and his courage in confronting the powerful with their own bold-faced lies is unmatched. Even if you I'd like to start by saying that Greg Palast's writing style drives me mad. He writes like he talks—in rapid spurts, jumping from topic to topic without the slightest explanation of where his rambling story is headed or why he's telling it in the first place. If you can somehow mine your way through this convoluted text, however, the reward is entirely worth it. Palast's reporting is top-notch and his courage in confronting the powerful with their own bold-faced lies is unmatched. Even if you refuse to read most of this book, the data and charts it provides are invaluable in explaining how the American government has screwed both the developing world and its own population for the benefit of a very select few.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    This book will probably make you angry, either because you agree with Palast and think it's a shame that this information isn't more widely known, or because you disagree with him and can't understand why anyone would publish what clearly must be lies. I tend more toward the first group. While I haven't done my own research, my gut feeling is that Palast cites checkable sources way too readily to be just making things up. Reading this in 2015 is an interesting experience, though, given that he This book will probably make you angry, either because you agree with Palast and think it's a shame that this information isn't more widely known, or because you disagree with him and can't understand why anyone would publish what clearly must be lies. I tend more toward the first group. While I haven't done my own research, my gut feeling is that Palast cites checkable sources way too readily to be just making things up. Reading this in 2015 is an interesting experience, though, given that he implies that the Republicans will likely steal the 2008 election just as they did the 2000 and 2004 elections. But since they didn't, it begs the question, "Why not?" I'm curious to read more of Palast's work, if only to see if he addresses this point or not.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Olivier

    It makes so much more sense now... I've always wondered about some of the inconsistencies in the run-up and execution of the Iraq War (e.g. why was Chalabi first admired and then reviled by the administration). Greg Palast, in his inimitable style (may be a little bit too familiar language for the gravitas of the subject matter at times) does a a very good job of pointing out that the Iraq War is a war between ideologies (Big Oil vs Neo-Cons, State vs DoD) carried out in the Middle East, and It makes so much more sense now... I've always wondered about some of the inconsistencies in the run-up and execution of the Iraq War (e.g. why was Chalabi first admired and then reviled by the administration). Greg Palast, in his inimitable style (may be a little bit too familiar language for the gravitas of the subject matter at times) does a a very good job of pointing out that the Iraq War is a war between ideologies (Big Oil vs Neo-Cons, State vs DoD) carried out in the Middle East, and that ultimately it is all about controlling oil flow (not necessarily owning it) and pacifying OPEC/the Saudis. Highly recommended so far!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    An okay book, but very liberal. Slams G-Dub a lot which may be deserved. Pointed out many problems with the voting in New Mexico and Ohio where he goes into what vote spoilage is all about. Gives yet another perspective on how the Bush Admin messed up in Iraq. Points out the money for oil and US Dollar mix that causes the entire mess which means we're stuck with high debt and bombs for oil. Those who are rock solid on the right need to read this to help wake them up and see what other people see. An okay book, but very liberal. Slams G-Dub a lot which may be deserved. Pointed out many problems with the voting in New Mexico and Ohio where he goes into what vote spoilage is all about. Gives yet another perspective on how the Bush Admin messed up in Iraq. Points out the money for oil and US Dollar mix that causes the entire mess which means we're stuck with high debt and bombs for oil. Those who are rock solid on the right need to read this to help wake them up and see what other people see. Those that are rock solid on the left need to read this to see how hypocritical they are to their own thinking and beliefs.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Yep, this book makes you hate a lot of aspects of our current government set-up. Palast does an amazing job of laying out just how many-splendored the way are The Man is screwing us. Sometimes the facts are just too damn much, but if you're willing to wade through it, it is still a riveting read. Just don't think you're going to ram through it in a weekend. Odds are, it won't happen. Just attack it a piece at a time. Maybe stop every so often, write a letter to your congressman or donate to one Yep, this book makes you hate a lot of aspects of our current government set-up. Palast does an amazing job of laying out just how many-splendored the way are The Man is screwing us. Sometimes the facts are just too damn much, but if you're willing to wade through it, it is still a riveting read. Just don't think you're going to ram through it in a weekend. Odds are, it won't happen. Just attack it a piece at a time. Maybe stop every so often, write a letter to your congressman or donate to one of the many worthwhile organizations listed in the back of the book. It's one thing to be pissed off, it's another thing to actually do something with the anger.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Currie

    I listened to the 5CD, abridged version of this book. I should have known going in what I was getting into. Another 'We are right, you are wrong', 'I am awake, you are sleeping', everything is a consiparcy to keep the 'little man down', book. Maybe some of the things he says is true. So? He offers no proof, just shadowy theories and a ridiculous half-whispered delivery throughout the entire thing. I didn't realize until I was reading the box it is supposed to be funny, too. Um, not so much. If I listened to the 5CD, abridged version of this book. I should have known going in what I was getting into. Another 'We are right, you are wrong', 'I am awake, you are sleeping', everything is a consiparcy to keep the 'little man down', book. Maybe some of the things he says is true. So? He offers no proof, just shadowy theories and a ridiculous half-whispered delivery throughout the entire thing. I didn't realize until I was reading the box it is supposed to be funny, too. Um, not so much. If you've already made up your mind and agree with the concept of this book, you'll love it. If not...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deborra

    I read this book over eight years ago when I was still a Democratic voter. It was part of the reason why I now boycott all elections in the US. For those who still believe we live under a democratic form of government, this book may be a real eye-opener. The only problem is, Palast, like most left-wing statists, believe that the solution to tyranny is continued failed attempts at reforming a corrupt system that cannot be reformed -- while they spend a good portion of their lives investigating I read this book over eight years ago when I was still a Democratic voter. It was part of the reason why I now boycott all elections in the US. For those who still believe we live under a democratic form of government, this book may be a real eye-opener. The only problem is, Palast, like most left-wing statists, believe that the solution to tyranny is continued failed attempts at reforming a corrupt system that cannot be reformed -- while they spend a good portion of their lives investigating the system and documenting the very reasons why this is not possible.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Littrell

    Goodbye yellow brick road, hello Armed Madhouse! There's a spiffy, hip kind of feel to this nouveau Wobblie update on how George W. Bush and his craven cronies and currish corporate sponsors are trying to turn America into a kind of gargantuan banana republic. Even if half of world-renowned journalist Greg Palast's indictment is even fifty percent correct, Momma, pack the kids and the dog and my old guitar: this country is going to hell. I've got a friend or two who have actually left the good old Goodbye yellow brick road, hello Armed Madhouse! There's a spiffy, hip kind of feel to this nouveau Wobblie update on how George W. Bush and his craven cronies and currish corporate sponsors are trying to turn America into a kind of gargantuan banana republic. Even if half of world-renowned journalist Greg Palast's indictment is even fifty percent correct, Momma, pack the kids and the dog and my old guitar: this country is going to hell. I've got a friend or two who have actually left the good old US of A for places like Panama and Canada, not so much out of fear of a neo-fascist takeover, but out of pure disgust, the kind of disgust that can only be bought with stolen elections and massive redistributions of the nation's wealth from the poor and the middle classes to the conspicuously rich. Before reading this I couldn't believe that the Democrats were so incompetent and so stupid as to allow the Republicans to steal two national elections. Now I wonder if it matters whether they can prevent a third. Probably Hillary will win, but after four years of her, the power structure will have had enough and it'll be the reincarnation of some cardboard flunky like Reagan or some idiot like the present occupant who will be installed in power and who will again rob the treasury, sell off the public lands and start a war for ExxonMobil and kill a gook for God. People like Cheney and Rumsfeld will probably be dead or deathlike, writing their mendacious memoirs, but there'll be others from the think tanks and the corporate world to look out for the interests of the ruling class. And, yes, the rich will get richer and the poor poorer and there's nothing new under the sun--although this "nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal" once seemed so. Goodbye yellow brick road. Welcome to the armed madhouse! The problem with America, with this democracy by capitalism, is that it isn't what it once was. We used to be the greatest country on earth. But sometime around the time that Kennedy got shot we began to change. We won the Cold War but it ruined us morally. With our idealism and sense of fair play compromised by our need to stem the tide of the red menace, we became, step by step, like every other country in the history of the world, hopelessly corrupt. Clearly, if Palast is to be believed, we are corrupt, right down to the very core of our being. When elections are stolen in a democracy, it is no longer a democracy. When a powerful nation invades another country to control the supply of oil (as Palast charges) under false pretexts, it is no different than Iraq invading Kuwait or Germany invading Poland. When a country allows profiteers to poison and despoil the land and the people (as Palast charges) that country is no better than the robber barons of old or the dictators of South America and Africa. When the president steals from the middle class to feed the gluttonous, the middle class will eventually dry up and die and we will have the wealth distribution pyramid of a banana republic. Obviously this book will delight and entertain those on the left. Palast is a gifted writer as well as a tenacious researcher who serves well as a pied piper to those about to be disenfranchised. (People on the right will send him death threats.) I suggest you read this book regardless of how you feel about what is happening in America today and who's responsible. If nothing else, reading Palast's prose is an education in how to express yourself with verve, gumption, and the employment of le mot juste. Here's an example from pages 262-263. Noting that 59 million Americans actually cast votes for George W. Bush in 2004 (regardless of whether he really won or not), Palast writes: “What we witnessed on November 2, 2004, was a 59 million strong army of pinheads on parade ready to gamble away their pensions so long as George Bush makes sure that boys kill each other, not kiss; who feel right proud that our uniformed services can kick some scrawny brown people in the ass in some far-off place when we're mad and can't find Osama; who can't bring themselves to vote for a guy with a snooty Boston accent who's never been to a NASCAR tractor pull and who certainly thinks anyone who does [sic] is a low-Q [sic] beer-burping blockhead.” Palast adds, "Nitwits who think Ollie North's a hero not a conman, who can't name their congressman, who believe that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were going steady, who can't tell Afghanistan from a souvlaki stand and, bloated with lies and super size fries, clomped to the polls 59 million strong to vent their small-minded hatreds on us all." He sums that up with, "I fear the election was an intelligence test that America failed." It is said that domesticated animals are not as smart as the wild kind. It is put forward that humans were smarter in, say, 30,000 BCE than we are now. Some call it "devolution." We are domesticated animals: we and the massage of TV and fast foods and soft couches, and the pounding rhythms of the ads relentlessly aimed at us, have domesticated ourselves. Nowhere in the world is this truer than in America. Alas. --Dennis Littrell, author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”

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