Author: Michael Lewis

Publisher: Penguin Random House

ISBN: 978-0-241-37354-5

Let’s pretend this book is a short story collection where the stories are about U.S. executive departments A, B, C, and so forth, and their associated agencies. They’re not fictional stories, but the American public in general still has no idea about what A, B, and C does. A might be the U.S. Department of Commerce, for example, and that department contains NOAA and the National Weather Service (in fact, only less than 10% of that department has anything to do with commerce in the business sense because it manages science and technology data).

Let’s also say that a certain new U.S. administration either doesn’t care about what the U.S. government actually does, or, if it does care, it focuses more on enriching the higher echelon people in that administration than it cares about helping people. And the true stories considered here are damning evidence for this great swindle perpetrated against the American public because taxpayer dollars are used for that enrichment.

I’ve read other Michael Lewis books, but this little jewel of 217 pages is his best in the sense that it exposes the incompetence, greed, and damage that characterizes the new U.S. administration. Here’s a quote that summarizes this point and the theme of this book: “There was a rift in American life that was now coursing through American government. It wasn’t between Democrats and Republicans. It was between the people who were in it for the mission, and the people who were in it for the money.”

To add even more wounds to American democracy, this book is also an indictment against the American people. Not only did too many of us allow this administration to take over the executive branch with their votes, we don’t understand how our government works, how much it does for us, where it does it, and how much we need it. As a result, this administration is now getting away with what’s portrayed in these stories. I consider myself a good citizen, but I’ll confess that I didn’t understand in detail how things were organized in Washington nor how the current administration’s agenda is destroying many things that worked well in the background.

Lewis’s book is enlightening. It should be read by every American, from every high school civics student to DOJ lawyers, and everyone else who wants to understand more about how the current administration is ruining all that’s good in Washington. The book is that important.