The Power Elite Is Ripping Us Off

Previously by Charles A. Burris: My Father Was a Carpetbagger

Over the past several weeks at LRC I have written various articles and blogs touching upon my favorite area of commentary: that of power elite analysis and the hidden history related to this subject.

These topics have included Watergate, the Bush dynasty, the 1980 October Surprise, and the 1980s Vatican Banking scandal.

I have received quite a number of enthusiastic responses from readers seeking more information on these concerns. It seems our LRC audience loves stuff which “names names,” and details chapter and verse how the power elite covertly operates in ripping them off by bamboozling them.

Accordingly they have asked for book titles and references with which they can further pursue exploring power elite analysis. So here are a dozen principal books which I particularly recommend one starts with which I have found extremely insightful over the past four decades.

Let’s begin at the beginning, the beginning of the American Republic.

Two books published contemporaneously in the early 1930s must be at the top of my reading list. They are Albert Jay Nock’s Our Enemy, The State; and John McConaughy’ Who Rules America: A Century of Invisible Government. The first is readily available, the latter is almost impossible to find (read it and you will know why it has been suppressed). Both are masterfully written, unflinching in their boldness, and authoritative. I have found nothing which supersedes them in dissecting this formative period of the American state.

Moving on to the period after the Civil War (the War of Coercive National Unification), we have three titles that are essential reading: Murray N. Rothbard’s brilliant Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy; Senator Richard F. Pettigrew’s forgotten memoir, Triumphant Plutocracy: The Story of American Public Life from 1870 to 1920; and Ferdinand Lundberg’s muck-raking classic, America’s 60 Families.

The Ur-book of “Establishment studies” is Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, the importance of which I have commented upon previously at LRC.

Unsurpassed in detailed documentation is Philip H. Burch’s three volume set, Elites in American History: The Federalist Years to the Civil War, The Civil War to the New Deal, and The New Deal to the Carter Administration. Professor Burch, by his exemplary scholarship and meticulous research into the elite structure of the American Establishment, has written the landmark definitive series in the exploration of power in America.

One would be negligent in not mentioning that much-heralded hagiographic tome of “Establishment studies,” The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made, by insiders Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas. The authors practically genuflect upon every page in paying homage to these overlords who once reigned supreme in the American presidium of power and privilege.

G. William Domhoff’s insightful The Higher Circles: The Governing Class in America; and the incomparable Peter Dale Scott’s American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan, complete this elementary canon which court historians would no doubt label “the dirty dozen.”

But the intellectually curious reader should not stop here. At I have many book and DVD lists.

Here are a number of specific lists which delve further into the topic of power elite analysis:

Establishment Studies

Power Brokers, Fixers, and Elite Insiders

Libertarian Class Analysis 

The Elite Is Neat, The Masses Are Asses

The American Deep State

Hidden History – Where Organized Crime and Government Meet

An Elite Education

Government Is the Enemy of Civilization

Elitism and the Myth of Pluralism

The Rockefeller World Empire

Coup d’état and Assassination: Business as Usual

How The U. S. Government Created America’s Drug Problem

Theological Canon of the Welfare-Warfare State

Speaking Truth to Power

Conservatism: The CIA’s Phony Movement

Political Corruption 101

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones

“Old Republican” Opponents of Federal Tyranny

Politically Incorrect American History

The American Presidency

Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal

J. F. K: Contra-Camelot

Dark Legacy: George Bush and the Murder of John F. Kennedy

Hey, Hey L. B. J.

Richard Milhouse Nixon

Jimmy Carter

Bush Dynasty

Bill Clinton

“Onward Armchair Soldiers” – Neocon War Against the World

Knowledge is power.

Empower yourself by discovering power elite analysis as a crucial tool in understanding your world.