Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast

From TheBookbag
Jump to: navigation, search


Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast

Category: Politics and Society
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Suiting a man who straddles the Atlantic, Greg Palast occupies a style ground somewhere between Michael Moore (fewer jokes) and John Pilger (more jokes) in this lucid, readable and convincing denouncement of a great deal that's wrong with the world, and in particular with George W Bush and the other movers and shakers among the world's super rich.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: August 2007
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 978-0141018270

Share on: Delicious Digg Facebook Reddit Stumbleupon Follow us on Twitter



Do not destroy oil wells.

Remember that? George Wendy Bush in his address to the soon-to-be-liberated (sic) Iraqi people in 2003. Well, we all thought it was about the oil, didn't we? But the media forgot to mention all that while they dutifully reported non-existent weapons of mass destruction and all the rest of it. Yet the Commander-in-Chief said it himself. Do not destroy oil wells.

Greg Palast opens Armed Madhouse with his take on the Iraq misadventure. It's definitely very interesting to those on the British side of the Atlantic because much of it is a story of unfolding domestic American battles that they might not have worked out for themselves. I certainly hadn't. For Palast, yes, of course it's about the oil. But it's also about a battle between two very influential elite American groups - the neo-cons and the oil men. One side wants to depress Iraqi oil production and raise oil prices. The other wants to crush OPEC by getting it all out. This secret domestic cold war of elite interests, for Palast, is what's caused the destruction of a country and nigh on a million deaths.

Iraq and the various ways in which George Bush stole two Presidential elections form the main narrative in Armed Madhouse. Suiting a man who straddles the Atlantic, Greg Palast occupies a style ground somewhere between Michael Moore (fewer jokes) and John Pilger (more jokes) in this lucid, readable and convincing denouncement of a great deal that's wrong with the world, and in particular with George W Bush and the other movers and shakers among the world's super rich. From the $1.5 billion cold-war submarine adapted to the desert war environment (they torpedo marines onto the beach and George Wendy bought 36. You really couldn't make it up) to the skewed questions on the No Child Left Behind ability tests, Palast unravels an American society in which the rich get richer by trampling on the poor.

Plus ca change, you might say. And you'd be right. And if you're British, you won't want to know how Palast suggests you steal your vote back and use it for your own good rather than the good of George Wendy and his cronies, but America has an enormous effect on Britain, including the lives of its servicemen. You owe it to yourselves to find out exactly how and why that is. Make sure you pay close attention to the chapter on the global economy. Make sure you understand that economic growth doesn't necessarily mean improved living standards for working people. Understand how to interpret the figures you hear on the news. Because this brand of truth, justice and the American way is something you most certainly want to avoid. And if you don't start understanding it now, it's all going to be too late.

My thanks to the good people at Penguin for sending the book.

Those wanting more of the same could look at Interventions by Noam Chomsky, The Corporation by Joel Bakan or Freedom Next Time by John Pilger.

Booklists.jpg Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast is in the Top Ten Beach Reads For Boys.
Buy Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast at Amazon.com.


Comments

Like to comment on this review?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.