“A political reporter with the gonzo spirit that made Hunter S. Thompson and P. J. O’Rourke so much fun . . . Taibbi also exhibits a fairly sophisticated knowledge of the inner workings of Congress.” Peter Carlson, The Washington Post
Smells Like Dead Elephants
978-0-8021-7041-5 • $14.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2007
From “one of the funniest and most honest American political journalists” (Joel Tannenbaum, Philadelphia City Paper) comes a collection of reportage on the worst of the Bush years
Matt Taibbi is notorious as a journalistic agitator, a stone thrower, a “natural provocateur” (Salon.com). 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 workor, 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 most entertaining political writers of today, Smells Like Dead Elephants is a stylish record of the offenses of the Bush years.