200-Word (More Or Less) Book Review: "Plunder" by Danny Schechter

Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity And The Subprime Scandal.
By Danny Schechter.
New York: Cosimo.
240 pp. $14.95.

Danny Schechter is one of my heroes, and I wasn’t afraid to tell him so when I met him. Ever since “South Africa Now” (showing my age here 🙂 ), he’s been a straight-up truth-teller. I used one of his books, “The More You Watch, The Less You Know,” when I was writing my doctoral dissertation.

He continues the tradition here, putting himself in the company of a few journalists who tried to inform America that a serious recession was coming. But, as usual, Schechter is ahead of the mainstream, warning of “a vast CREDIT AND LOAN COMPLEX every bit as insidious as the Military-Industrial Complex. Most Americans have no idea that this even exists.” And you can bet which government it funds.

Schechter blends charts, articles, books, interviews, journalistic observations and even poetry together, walking the reader month by month (almost day by day) through 2007 and 2008 to show it how capitalism unraveled in front of America’s eyes. He explains boldly how it’s actually American democracy that’s threatened by the economic disaster. The journalist-filmmaker-activist-blogger stays in the street and On The Street, and does a very good job of balancing both. Schechter once again earns the reputation he has gained, joining those who proudly stand in the shadow of muckraker legend I.F. Stone.

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