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Excellent Cadavers by Alexander Stille; Comrade Criminal by Stephen Handelman

- Abstract

For most of this century, one enduring piece of conventional political wisdom has been that “partnership” between business and government makes for socioeconomic well-being. Time and again, however, it has been forcibly brought home to us that such partnerships are fraught with perils, including especially the peril of corruption.

In the United States, for example, well-connected individuals have recently walked away with billions of taxpayer dollars in the savings-and-loan debacle, and now the complex Whitewater affair is slowly unfolding before our eyes. Abroad, in Europe both East and West, in Asia, in Africa—in fact, wherever governments wield extensive power over economic life—the abuse of high public office to serve private pecuniary ends is common. Both Alexander Stille and Stephen Handelman provide vivid illustrations of the phenomenon at work in two countries where it is especially severe.

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