Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire
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Smells Like Dead Elephants

Dispatches from a Rotting Empire

By Matt Taibbi

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Format: Paperback, 247 pages
Published In: United States, 10 October 2007
Matt Taibbi is notorious as a journalistic agitator, a stone thrower, a "natural provocateur" ( His scathing, vibrant prose shines an unflinching spotlight on the corruption, dishonesty, and sheer laziness of our leaders. Smells Like Dead Elephants brings together Taibbi's most incisive, intense, and hilarious work from his "Road Work" column in Rolling Stone. Written over the last two years, a period in our history with no shortage of outrages to compel Taibbi's pen, these pieces paint a shocking portrait of our government at work--or, as Taibbi points out in "The Worst Congress Ever," rarely working. "In the Sixties and Seventies, Congress met an average of 162 days a year. The 109th Congress set the all-time record for fewest days worked by a U.S. Congress: 93. Figuring for half-days, in fact, the 109th Congress probably worked almost two months less than the notorious 'Do-Nothing' Congress of 1948." Taibbi has plenty to say about George W. Bush, Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, and all the rest, but he doesn't just hit inside the Beltway. He gets involved in the action, infiltrating Senator Conrad Burns's birthday party under disguise as a lobbyist for a fictional oil firm that wants to drill in the Grand Canyon. He floats into apocalyptic post-Katrina New Orleans in a dinghy with Sean Penn. He goes to Iraq as an embedded reporter, where he witnesses the mind-boggling dysfunction of our occupation and spends three nights in Abu Ghraib prison. And he reports from two of the most bizarre and telling trials in recent memory: California v. Michael Jackson and the evolution-vs.-intelligent-design trial in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A brilliant collection from one of the mostentertaining political writers of today, Smells Like Dead Elephants is a stylish record of the offenses of the Bush years.
EAN: 9780802170415
ISBN: 0802170412
Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
Dimensions: 20.78 x 14.02 x 1.83 centimeters (0.29 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years


"Not so much a campaign diary as it is a compelling, and somewhat chaotic, mix of reporting, anecdote, social commentary, and rant. In each piece, Taibbi's rage and humor bleeds through, making this a vivid and very personal critique of both politics and the mainstream journalists who cover it....It's hard not to be engrossed by the eccentric characters, entertaining scenarios, and rich details that drive [Taibbi's] stories."

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