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There's bound to be reviewers who claim that the author's picking on Republicans, but disregard that - it's more that Republicans bear the brunt of an accident of history. The book chronicles the change in the culture of government, and specifically as it has to do not with money per se, but with spending, with the arms race that develops from pols realizing that spending on races wins, as well as the culture of lobbyists who (even with honorable intentions at times) nurtured the culture where this was possible. I'm a little hesitant to draw the picture as broadly as the author does, where money is the sole cause and the sole sustaining reason, but it's a very, very scary picture. The book does have some flaws, though. The framing story - the narrative of one important lobbyist - isn't as interesting as the author thinks it is, and the book has a tendency to get stuck in some dry, unimportant tangent for what seems like hours. The opening and closing music is also a bit excessively melodramatic. But when it's good, it's on fire.
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So Damn Much Money answers the questions I had about where the American political system went astray.
I found this audiobook in pursuit of understanding how American politics managed to degenerate into a state in which the US government seems incapable of dealing with the big issues facing the US and the world. Kaiser tells this story from the point of view of one of the most successful Washington lobbyists of the last 30 years.
The story is told chronologically, so you feel how one thing leads to another and before you know it, the US political system has been paralyzed by money, greed and special interest manoeuvring. Kaiser makes it easy to see how it happened, and how it seems unlikely to fix itself any time soon. A sober story, but one worth the listen.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful