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Toxic truthsGreg Palasts new scandal-buster is the easiest of uneasy reads writes Matthew TempestBefore you assume some shady link between the following glowing review of Greg Palasts new book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and his employment by the Guardian Media Group a quick declaration of interest some of the books investigations have appeared in outline form in Guardian Unlimiteds sister publication the Observer However judging by Mr Palasts withering pen-portrait of a lunch with Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger close contact with the author is unlikely to guarantee favourable coverageThe book Mr Palasts first soon to be followed by an academic treatise under the UN imprint is the latest in what might ironically be termed the global industry in anti-globalisation books It stands on the shoulders of George Monbiots Captive State Nick Cohens Cruel Britannia and of course Naomi Kleins No LogoWell the good news is its a lot funnier than any of those Not a hard task - surely the time is ripe for a satire on Ms Kleins best-selling but montonous 200-pages-too-long Canada-centric textBut Mr Palast revels in his self-appointed shtick as a Philip Marlowe-style American private eye - a gumshoe detective taking on cases such as the Dubyas theft of the Florida election the price of meeting New Labour ministers the international monetary funds privatisation of Bolivias water supply and the misdeeds of Pfizer Enron Exxon Coca Cola Balfour Beatty et alThe books opening chapter is probably its most important an investigation which should have Mr Palasts name up there with Woodward and Bernstein - how Dubyas Florida governor brother Jeb and secretary of state Katherine Harris disenfranchised tens of thousands of black Al Gore supporters gifting the sunshine state to the toxic TexanMr Palasts 43-page dissection of exactly how this scandal occurred - some of which made great footage for the BBCs Newsnight - reads like a schlocky detective novel Whether Jeb Bush or Ms Harris could have known how
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