Thursday, February 3, 2011

Review of "Lies the Government Told You"

I am wading into politics a bit here, I know, but I couldn't resist on this book.  It was quite an interesting read.

When I started reading this book, I had no idea who Judge Andrew Napolitano was, or what the book was about.  Quite frankly, I rather figured that it was probably a book on conspiracy theories.  To my surprise (and pleasure), it is a well-researched work on specific  ways the United States government has deceived its citizens and lists the ways the government infringes on citizens’ individual liberties.  While the book is up to date and deals with modern issues, Napolitano also deals with historical lies, outlining ways that multiple presidents, including Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Wilson, lied to the people to accomplish their various goals.   
Refreshingly, Judge Napolitano is neither Republican nor Democrat, and he scathingly denounces members of both parties with equal vigor.  Neither does he stick to a particular party’s official line.  This is particularly evident in his treatment of Sonia Sotomyer’s confirmation process. 
Napolitano’s point that the government regularly lies to the people is not disputed from any quarter.  Indeed, people seem to accept as normal the fact that the government lies with impunity.  “[An] FBI agent tells the cultural guru Martha Sterwart, in an informal conversation in the presence of others, that she is not the target of a federal criminal probe, and she replies that she did not sell a certain stock on a certain day.  They both lied, but she went to jail and the FBI agent kept his job.” 
If you’re looking for an easy read, this is probably not it.  I did not find the book dry, as many of the other reviewers did, but Napolitano does refer to and cite many legal cases in making each of his points.  In addition, if you believe that political parties have all the answers, this book will not be your cup of tea.  But if you’re a little cynical and disillusioned with politicians in general – and enjoy reading about history – this book might be a welcome addition to your library. 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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