The Racket: A Rogue Reporter vs The American Empire

Author:   Matt Kennard
Publisher:   Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Edition:   2nd edition
ISBN:  

9781350422711


Pages:   440
Publication Date:   13 June 2024
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
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The Racket: A Rogue Reporter vs The American Empire


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Author:   Matt Kennard
Publisher:   Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Imprint:   Bloomsbury Academic
Edition:   2nd edition
ISBN:  

9781350422711


ISBN 10:   1350422711
Pages:   440
Publication Date:   13 June 2024
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
We have confirmation that this item is in stock with the supplier. It will be ordered in for you and dispatched immediately.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Chris Hedges Preface Introduction Part 1: How We Owned You 1. Creating a Modern-day Slave State 2. The Racket 3. Rigging the System 4. Cursing Your Riches Part 2: Enforcement 5. The Mob 6. With Friends Like These 7. Might is Right 8. A Drug War Colony 9. War on Hope Part 3: Reinforcement 10. The First Peoples of America and Their Land 11. Working America 12. Destitute America 13. Lock-up America Part 4: We're Losing You 14. Turf War 15. Freedom Fighters 16. Revolutionaries 17. Successful Defiance 18. Culture as a Weapon of Resistance Afterword Index

Reviews

"“In this important book, Kennard explores the direct impacts of militarized, globalized American capitalism on some of the most battered parts of our world. With devastating precision and a formidable sense of urgency, he reports on corporate shock doctors in Haiti, imperialist drug warriors in Honduras, pillaging coal and mining giants in southern Africa and Appalachia — and so much more. Most importantly, he never loses sight of the the growing numbers of resistors holding on to their creativity and self-determination in the face of these forces.” -- Naomi Klein “I congratulate Matt Kennard for this brutally honest work. We need Kennard in this world (jungle) and other writers like him who have the courage and creative mind to expose the lies and deception of the Free Market, Free Elections, Free Choices, Democracy, Peace, Cooperation, Friendship, Partnership, Equality, Justice and other beautiful words hiding savage brutality, violence, terrorism, colonialism, and imperialism.” -- Nawal El Saadawi “The Racket is a powerful tool for self-education: it offers essential information about the insatiable and sordid nature of global, elitist, exploitive, profit-blinded governments and institutions that have, together, perfected the task of making billions of people miserable, poor and fatally unhappy. It also offers testimony from activists and artists who are not giving in, giving up, or lying down.” -- Alice Walker “Matt Kennard’s perceptive direct reporting and analysis of policy aim to expose 'the racket' that dominates much of global society and to 'blow their cover.' His in-depth studies, ranging from Haiti to Palestine to Bolivia to Honduras to the destitute in New York City and far more bring home in vivid and illuminating detail the reality of life and struggles of much of the world’s population, their defeats and victories, their suffering and vitality and hope.” -- Noam Chomsky ""If I was editor of an old-fashioned newspaper, the kind that published and be damned, I’d hire Matt Kennard. The Racket is a front page story."" -- John Pilger “Matt Kennard exposes the failure of US neoliberalism and a major reason why China’s star is rising while American foreign policy is imploding into a black hole.” -- John Perkins “Kennard is no conspiracy theorist. Whatever you think about his conclusions, this is a first-class piece of radical investigative journalism.” * The Journalist * “Matt Kennard left his secure job with the Financial Times on a mission to expose the world financial system as a gigantic racket operated by the United States of America for the benefit of a tiny number of extremely rich individuals. [...] He has travelled the world, and has material to work on. There is no arguing with his Chomskyan analysis of the grotesque consequences of US financial imperialism in Latin America, or Washington’s refusal to confront Israel over its maltreatment of the Palestinian population.” -- Peter Osborne * New Statesman * “[The Racket] depicts the U.S. system of economic control and exploitation as a violent, highly oppressive nexus of government power and private wealth. Kennard’s global investigation of the effects on the ground of what is known variously as the Washington Consensus, neoliberalism, or, in Naomi Klein’s phrase, 'disaster capitalism'—including severe poverty, loss of political autonomy, and war and terror as conditions of life—follows in the footsteps of previous critics of U.S. imperialism like Klein and Noam Chomsky. Kennard includes unusually candid interviews with members of the World Bank and other financial institutions. These and other sections from a journalistic perspective help elucidate […] such tragedies as Haiti’s post-earthquake 'reconstruction' or aggressive mining operations in Africa and South America.” * Publishers Weekly * “Contains […] vivid on-the-ground reporting from Haiti, Palestine and Egypt. [Kennard] reports on the depredations of mining companies and the baleful effects of the 'war on drugs' in Honduras, Bolivia and elsewhere, with many eye opening discussions of the minutiae of trade negotiations [...] as well as the privatised prison industry and the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US. To this extent, the book is a little brother to Naomi Klein’s brilliant The Shock Doctrine, which showed in 2007 how civil wars and natural disasters in poor countries are routinely exploited by US and global business interests pushing for radical programmes of privatisation from which they intend to profit. (The same thing happened, Kennard notes, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.)” * The Guardian * “Kennard’s new book, The Racket, is an ambitious and sweeping account of how US-backed superpowers keep the poor poor and the rich rich. It’s a kind of anti-capitalist manifesto, only without all the hipster-Marxist jargon that makes those kinds of books so inaccessible to the people who want to read them. In The Racket, Kennard speaks to everyone from earthquake victims in Haiti, to the leaders of big oil companies, to celebrities in a quest to find out how global, multilateral institutions like the World Bank and IMF create a world only conducive to the needs of private capital. He patiently explains to his readers how the US government controls banks and big businesses, enforcing their ideology on the rest of the world with the help of a brutal military and the sinister tactics employed by their intelligence agencies. Essentially, The Racket is the best noir thriller about shady mobsters you’ve ever read, and all the more terrifying because it’s a book about US history. ” * VICE * ""Matt Kennard has announced his presence on the scene as the next generation’s John Pilger. […] Kennard deftly manages the balancing act between making judgments (in favour of people over profit and the progress of society) and of getting out of the way while he lets his interview subjects tell their own stories. The book spans the globe, and is strongest in its sections on Latin America – especially on Bolivia and the US-backed terror war against the leftist government there. But Kennard does a brilliant job of tying the strands together and joining the dots between disparate struggles against corporate greed and imperial power around the world."" -- Asa Winstanley * Middle East Monitor * “Kennard decided to leave his comfortable job at the Financial Times and start to do some real journalism instead. The Racket, his second book, is very much the result of this transformation and it is nothing sort of marvellous. Angry, scornful and yet optimistic about the potential for change, it’s a socially engaged and often autobiographical exploration packed with solid research and interviews with those on the class-war front line. [...] A polemical, first-hand expose of the corporate elites who rule and ruin the world for the rest of us, ex-Financial Times journalist Matt Kennard’s The Racket is investigative journalism at its best. [...] Covering the Turkish repression of the Kurds, the continuing US-led plunder of South America and the downtrodden of the US itself, the book makes a good case for Kennard being a true heir to John Pilger and the older generation of muckrakers.” * Morning Star * ""Following Amy Goodman’s dictum that 'the role of journalism is to go where the silences are,' Kennard fires off incendiary dispatches from the parts of the world rarely covered by the Western mainstream media. [...] [T]he book focusses on Turkey’s US-backed ethnic cleaning of the Kurds and US attempts to undermine progressive change in Haiti, Honduras and Bolivia. Like the best work of John Pilger, George Monbiot and Naomi Klein, The Racket is investigative, passionate journalism with a purpose – to defend the powerless against rapacious power. A hugely important tour de force, it will inform and inspire resistance movements for years to come.” -- Ian Sinclair * Red Pepper * “Timely and readable. [...] Kennard ranges widely in his attempt to show the scope and depth of the Racket. From the ‘disaster capitalism’ imposed on an earthquake-traumatized Haiti to the undermining of democracy in Bolivia, Kennard lays bare the mechanics of the scam. [...] This book is a valuable tool for anyone wishing to engage in the worldwide struggle for justice.” * New Internationalist * “Investigative journalist Matt Kennard’s The Racket is an exposé of the murky collusions between global high-finance and the militarised US state in the post-war era. Kennard traces the expansion of US corporate power across the globe, using case studies from Palestine, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico and more to illustrate the pernicious and far-reaching impact of the US ‘imperial mindset.’ A former Financial Times journalist, Kennard identifies the US as the primary actor in enforcing ‘the racket’, or the system whereby capitalist elites are buttressed through the violent suppression of labour unions, social movements and political groups in selected US satellite states. Nowhere is this more evident than in US intervention within ‘America’s backyard’ of Latin America. Kennard explores in eminently readable prose the self-evident brutality and futility of the War on Drugs in Honduras, links between US multinationals and the Colombian paramilitaries and anti-labour union governments, and the dynamic resistance presented by anti-imperialist Morales and the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) in Bolivia.” -- Olivia Arigho Stiles * Alborada * “This is radical journalism of the highest order. A very useful book.” * Socialist Review * “Matt Kennard threw away a cushy career with an establishment newspaper just to let you in on a secret: you don’t get the story, you get the cover-up. From Egypt to South Africa to Washington to London, Kennard lets us in on the details of buried truth.” -- Greg Palast “A brilliant atlas of what Kennard calls 'heavy history' - the hurricane-like path of global destruction wrought by neoliberalism and wars against the poor.” -- Mike Davis “A crucial exposé of the powerful, of injustice, and of the war against the poor. It should inspire all of us to fight back.” -- Owen Jones “This firecracker of a book, written by a former insider journalist who realised the true, exploitative agenda of corporate media, unleashes a gonzo journey across the world of US empire. From Palestine to Bolivia and America to South Africa, reporter Matt Kennard provides a roadmap of deformed economics, state violence and inspiring resistance. The Racket’s key message is that another, more just world is possible when political and media courtiers of power recognise their own complicity in Washington’s destructive policies in the name of 'development,' 'humanitarian intervention,' and 'liberation.' Read this book, be startled and then take action.” -- Antony Loewenstein “The Racket is tough, angry, relentlessly researched and riveting, in the grand Chomskyan tradition but with the added value of the journalist’s mobility and on the spot coverage. Kennard’s range is wide, both geographically and topically, but with a single target—the depredations of the US superpower’s corporate and political elites on their own home turf and abroad that the lap-dog media rarely touch.” -- Susan George “Matt Kennard reveals the criminal and ruthless dynamics of global imperialism. His analysis is richly researched, keenly illustrative, and consistently on target. May this book get the wide readership it deserves.” -- Michael Parenti “Drawing on his wide-ranging in-depth investigations of exploitation and resistance from Haiti to Tunisia, Matt Kennard provides a valuable portrait of the structure and dynamics of the world’s biggest criminal enterprise. Uncovering the linkages among corporate power, free trade agreements, the International Monetary Fund, and military hegemony, he offers a clinical analysis of how the American racket operates but also inevitably triggers resistance. A masterpiece of engaged journalism.” -- Walden Bello “The Racket is a well-researched political tour through weaponised corruption and tyranny, destitution, robbery, mass murder and concluding in the censoring of the arts in the United States and Britain. Matt Kennard puts no deodorant on the reptiles waste in the imperial barnyard.” -- Gavin McFayden"


Author Information

Matt Kennard is the co-founder and chief investigator at Declassified UK, a news outlet investigating British foreign policy. He was a fellow and then director at the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) in London, UK. He is the author the acclaimed book Irregular Army (2012) and co-author (with Claire Provost) of Silent Coup (2023).

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