Please join Janine Wedel and me at the McNally Jackson Bookstore, here in NYC, on 3/22.

(See excerpts from reviews of her eye-opening new book, Shadow Elite, below.)


Janine Wedel to speak about her new book, Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market.

Hosted by Mark Crispin Miller

Professor author and activist Mark Crispin Miller hosts another in his ongoing series of events with books on political topics that deserve a bigger spotlight and broader readership.

This evening, Janine Wedel, professor at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University, joins us to talk about a new breed of leader, fully entrenched and maintained by their access to governments and financing at the highest levels. Yes, of course she’s talking about Russia, but more obviously, more alarmingly, about this phenomenon in our own country. These individuals are above scrutiny and punishment, make decisions that affect every one of us, and are gaining more power daily.

If it sounds outrageous, like mere scare-mongering, come hear Wedel name names and explain, with detail and authority, why outrage may be the only real option left to us.

Monday, March 22, 2010
7:00 p.m.
McNally Jackson Bookstore
52 Prince St. (b/t Lafayette & Mulberry)

– Publishers Weekly gives Shadow Elite a starred review (read review)
“The serious study of global affairs is usually left to political scientists, economists, lawyers and journalists…Now, however, one anthropologist has turned the profession’s pith-helmeted gaze on the top-level politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen who make up the global elite in an attempt to document how well they do their jobs. It sounds like a stretch, but in fact there is something uniquely exhilarating about studying the White House or the International Monetary Fund using the same methods that one would study ritual incest among aboriginal Guyanans.”

– Financial Times (read review)
“Over the holidays I read a great book by Janine Wedel called Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market. It’s a gripping, disquieting book that exposes and explains why it’s been so hard to bring about any real change in our country – why Washington no longer seems capable of addressing the problems our nation faces.”

– Los Angeles Times (read review)
“Wedel’s book is a clarion call against some insidious threats to a healthy democracy….Government and quasi-government form a much bigger and more complex tangle than ever before. Also, round-the-clock cable television and other new media create a demand for instant commentary that highly partisan voices can artfully fill…And lobbyists’ money is sloshing around Washington, looking for direct and indirect outlets.”

– The Washington Monthly (read review)
“Janine R. Wedel throws light on how power brokering by The Shadow Elite (Basic Books) undermines our government and democracy itself.”

– Vanity Fair features Shadow Elite in “Hot Type” (read review)
Shadow Elite … is a gripping, disquieting book.

– Chicago Tribune (read review)
“Any time you turn on the television these days, you’ll find pundits sounding off on the policy debate du jour….As Janine R. Wedel writes in her new book…the rise of a new breed of confidence men and women – think-tank members, government advisers, business consultants and television pundits – upend our democracy.”

– AlterNet (read review)
“For academics, activists, and policy makers engaged in strengthening government accountability and transparency, Wedel’s work makes for a necessary though at times sobering read….Written with journalistic clarity without sacrificing theoretical and analytic rigor, Shadow Elite sheds light on a phenomenon largely hidden from the public gaze. Good scholarship, as Wedel herself notes (p. 205), seeks to understand before changing the world. In this, the book succeeds admirably..”

– Global Integrity Commons (read review)
“Who is really in charge of our country? That’s the question Janine R. Wedel sets out to answer in Shadow Elite, and she points a finger squarely at Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz, among others. This ‘shadow elite’ looks unnervingly similar from one administration to the next, she writes, and a close examination also reveals that the division between public and private work is hard to discern. These power brokers have been safeguarded from standard ethics and even an obligation to the public they supposedly serve. Wedel traces the shadow elite from the Reagan era to the present day and draws the family tree of influence as it has been handed down.”

– The Daily Beast selects Shadow Elite as a “Hot Read” (read review)
“What makes Wedel’s book so valuable is that she doesn’t indulge in conspiracy theories that can’t be proven; she provides the facts and describes how this informal group of elitists is fluid in moving among the powerful institutions that control public policy, including government.”

– BuzzFlash (read review)
“Wedel presents a serious, thoughtful, and thorough examination of 21st-century political culture here, fully documented.ŠShadow Elite is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn the rules of the game, either for personal gain or for self-defense.”

– Curled up with a Good Book (read review)
“Reinventing America: Just End the Budget-Busting Shadow Government.”
– The Globalist (read review)

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