CORPORATEERING; How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom… and What You Can Do About It
Publishers Weekly Reviews
By Jamie Court, foreword by Michael Moore.
Putnam/Tarcher, $24.95 (336p)
Court, who directs the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights and wrote the 1999 HMO expose’ “Making a Killing”, is keeping the muckraking tradition alive. He’s particularly disturbed by “corporateering,” a word he hopes to add to the popular lexicon, defined as “when corporations exceed their traditional role in a marketplace to dominate the cultural sphere and compromise individuals’ rights, freedoms, power, and the democratic systems that protect
Corporations have this power, Court says, because many of them have become larger than some national governments. The book explores the impact of this power on America’s judicial system, education system and the public spaces that define community.
In the judicial system, for instance, Court shows how corporations use their might to limit lawsuits and losses in the name of tort reform and influence the makeup of the courts through advertising and campaign funds.
Court’s arguments are compelling and debate worthy, but he doesn’t offer much in the way of prescriptive solutions. The problem, he says, is that much corporateering occurs below the public’s radar and is wrapped in widely accepted values, such as the sanctity of “free markets.” His goal is to teach readers how to see corporateering’s effects and speak its name aloud, and in that, he succeeds. (June 1)
Forecast: Like Moore, who wrote the foreword to this book, Court knows how to generate publicity – he’s appeared on shows from NPR’s All Things Considered to Dateline NBC – and has started a campaign to get opinion leaders to use the word “corporateering” in public discourse. His book should resonate with consumer rights groups and fans of Moore’s brand of activism.