Crime and No Punishment
“The Jungle,” by Upton Sinclair.
“Silent Spring,” by Rachel Carson.
“Unsafe at Any Speed,” by Ralph Nader.
To this illustrious list of muckraking, epoch-changing books, add one more:
Charles Ferguson’s “Predator Nation.”
Pantheon of Greats
Essentially the unabridged companion piece to his 2010 Oscar-winning documentary (“Inside Job“), the book is a sober if not depressing, footnote-studded account of how America circa 2012 has devolved into an increasingly unfair, money-driven society — dominated by an intertwined economic oligopoly/political duopoly.
It is also a stunning indictment of Wall Street crime and (no) punishment.
In fact, a section titled “J’accuse” literally reads like a criminal indictment, complete with causes of legal action and a list of especially deserving targets (the majority of whom are already familiar to students of The Crash of 2008).
Complexity as a Strategy
Because of the complexity of the subject matter — itself a symptom of the problem — I’d be surprised if “Predator Nation” garners Harry Potter-size sales, or otherwise registers on national best-selling lists.
At least not right away.
But over time, I have no doubt that Ferguson’s book will take its place in the pantheon of greats mentioned above.
P.S.: If no one in authority is going to hold Wall Street accountable and enact real reform, how about at least making “Predator Nation” required reading on every college campus?