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Book Review - "The Wolves of K Street: The Secret History of How Big Money Took Over Big Government"

I enjoy reading a fair bit. However, my typical tastes in literature consists of fantasy, mythology, and a little bit of contemporary realistic fiction. I like reading stories about characters I can relate to in some way shape or form. Either that, or I like to escape from reality, because in my opinion, more often than not life sucks.

Every so often, however, there is just that random documentary, YouTube video or whatever that piques your curiosity, and that is basically what this book was to me about a month ago when I was just casually walking through my local bookstore. What immediately stood out to me about The Wolves of K Street was its title. I have been thinking for a long time that the US Federal Government is nothing more than a public scapegoat for America's corporate elite, and a platform for which they can oppress the general public with legislation that benefits the bottom line at the expense of everyone else.

Traditionally, this has been the role of the Republican party, although over time the Democratic party allowed themselves to be infiltrated by the Corporatocracy.

I have felt this way for a while, but I have been secretly hoping the Corporate sphere of influence is not nearly as bad as I imagined; I have been known to be quite a pessimist amongst my friends and peers. However, to my dismay, this book pretty much set aside any doubts that I may have had with regards to the Federal and State governments, and where their priorities lie - namely, within the bottom line of the uber wealthy.

Aside from depressing me, this book has been very informative and covers roughly 70 years of modern US history back to a crucial point in time where everything began to go wrong - namely, the Reagan administration.

The book chronicles birth, life and death of 3 generations of corporate lobbying in Washington D.C.'s infamous "K Street", the home to political influence peddlers, starting with the founding father of lobbying, Tommy Boggs, and ending with Paul Manafort, who some of you may vaguely be familiar with for being involved with Donald Trump's political campaign and to some extent, his presidency.

Since I do not want to provide too many spoilers, or ideally none at all, I won't go into too many details about the historical events within this book. What I will say is that for a non-fiction book that discusses a topic which I generally consider to be boring (US political history), it kept me engaged and interested to find out more about what happens next. The book almost reads more like a novel with multiple main characters with the narrator speaking through an omniscient third person perspective. The authors get deep inside the psychology of these diabolical characters, and their motivations for corrupting a system that the American public has put their faith in for nearly 250 years of American history. Some are motivated by greed. Others are motivated by fame, influence, and power. Others are simply motivated by the thrill and danger of their ventures.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say I "couldn't put the book down" (being an adult in a graduate STEM program doesn't give me too much free time these days, especially when I have to be a single father, and deal with a divorce), it did give me something to look forward to when I did have a spare hour or two, and bit by bit, I found myself getting to the end of a fairly dense, lengthy book that covers several decades of history. I was pleasantly surprised with how easily it read, and how dramatic it was. While I will submit that this book isn't necessarily for everyone, I would highly recommend it for anyone that is interested in finding out more about how the current United States federal government works, and what direction it's currently headed if nothing changes. It is very clear to me the authors of this book, Brody Mullins and Luke Mullins put a considerable, exhaustive amount of effort into weaving a highly intricate and complex story together to make a very persuasive case that corporate lobbying runs deep in Washington, and is a threat to our country's democracy.

Why did I decide to review this book? Because my blog regularly discusses federal agencies which were established for the sole purpose of protecting employees from corrupt, greedy employers that want to abuse their wealth to take advantage of their employees and undermine the very protections that were put in place to protect their employees from these kinds of abuses. In my opinion, understanding the role that the Corporatocracy has on our government enables the employee to understand why it often seems that the government is often times inefficient, slow, and ill-equipped to deal with legitimate discrimination cases against their employer. All I can say to employees that are experiencing these kinds of situations is keep advocating for yourself and fighting the good fight. While power leads to corruption, it also often leads to complacency and arrogance on the abuser's part. If you keep your head in the game, and quietly collect pieces of evidence that your employer is being discriminatory, you still have a good chance at coming out on top at the end. Just be patient and have faith in yourself, your abilities and your contributions to the company.

That being said, if American politics and corruption are your cup of tea, I would highly recommend this book, especially since it only recently came out a few months ago, and much of this information is fresh and up-to-date. If you decide to pick up this book, I sincerely hope you enjoy it and learn a lot from it. Happy reading!


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