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The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them

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In The Exception to the Rulers, award-winning journalist Amy Goodman exposes the lies, corruption, and crimes of the power elite-an elite that is bolstered by large media conglomerates who obscure the truth. Her goal is "to go where the silence is, to give voice to the silenced majority," and she is fond of quoting Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtf In The Exception to the Rulers, award-winning journalist Amy Goodman exposes the lies, corruption, and crimes of the power elite-an elite that is bolstered by large media conglomerates who obscure the truth. Her goal is "to go where the silence is, to give voice to the silenced majority," and she is fond of quoting Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." This book informs and empowers people to act on that principle. For years, Amy Goodman has confronted the Washington establishment and its corporate cronies while giving voice to the voiceless. She hosts the national radio and TV show Democracy Now!, which began in 1996 and is now the largest media collaboration in public broadcasting in North America. Democracy Now! is not just a show-it's a movement.


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In The Exception to the Rulers, award-winning journalist Amy Goodman exposes the lies, corruption, and crimes of the power elite-an elite that is bolstered by large media conglomerates who obscure the truth. Her goal is "to go where the silence is, to give voice to the silenced majority," and she is fond of quoting Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtf In The Exception to the Rulers, award-winning journalist Amy Goodman exposes the lies, corruption, and crimes of the power elite-an elite that is bolstered by large media conglomerates who obscure the truth. Her goal is "to go where the silence is, to give voice to the silenced majority," and she is fond of quoting Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." This book informs and empowers people to act on that principle. For years, Amy Goodman has confronted the Washington establishment and its corporate cronies while giving voice to the voiceless. She hosts the national radio and TV show Democracy Now!, which began in 1996 and is now the largest media collaboration in public broadcasting in North America. Democracy Now! is not just a show-it's a movement.

30 review for The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them

  1. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    Amy Goodman is my hero. Exception to the Rulers is a damning expose of the corporate media establishment, oil corporations, and American politics. Amy sheds light on the way in which the United States becomes complicit in global horrors through weapons trades, oil exploitation, and the pursuit of corporate interests at the expense of human lives. Her most damning critiques are reserved for the media establishment, and journalists who refuse to ask difficult questions of those in power. Instead, Amy Goodman is my hero. Exception to the Rulers is a damning expose of the corporate media establishment, oil corporations, and American politics. Amy sheds light on the way in which the United States becomes complicit in global horrors through weapons trades, oil exploitation, and the pursuit of corporate interests at the expense of human lives. Her most damning critiques are reserved for the media establishment, and journalists who refuse to ask difficult questions of those in power. Instead, the mainstream media publishes whatever the government feeds it, allowing the so-called independent press to become a tool for government propaganda. My only criticism would be that her tone gets a bit snarky at times, which probably discourages people who are not already convinced leftists from reading it. But it is an informative and important book, even if it is only being used by the choir.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Scott Meyer

    Amy Goodman is one of the few remaining real journalists who actually do their research and report the facts in their gory detail. This is old news now that the Bush Administration has been largely exposed for its malfeasance and duplicity, but in my view it is still essential reading. Buy it. Or if you borrow a copy from the library, why not send a donation to www.democracynow.org? Help fund honest reporting. Amy Goodman is one of the few remaining real journalists who actually do their research and report the facts in their gory detail. This is old news now that the Bush Administration has been largely exposed for its malfeasance and duplicity, but in my view it is still essential reading. Buy it. Or if you borrow a copy from the library, why not send a donation to www.democracynow.org? Help fund honest reporting.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Murali

    One of the few 'real' journalists out there, with the courage to not toe the line of those in power. This book proves that if the fourth estate is not active, or if it becomes the part of government propaganda, many lives would be lost. As a non-american, I was personally appalled at the coverage of American news agencies during the Iraq war. I am happy to see that there are people in the US media who care for non-partisan news. I was particularly happy to see her analysis of Henry Kissinger as One of the few 'real' journalists out there, with the courage to not toe the line of those in power. This book proves that if the fourth estate is not active, or if it becomes the part of government propaganda, many lives would be lost. As a non-american, I was personally appalled at the coverage of American news agencies during the Iraq war. I am happy to see that there are people in the US media who care for non-partisan news. I was particularly happy to see her analysis of Henry Kissinger as a war-criminal. Speaking from an Indian perspective (my country), I can see that most of the things that are applicable to US news agencies are also applicable to Indian ones, where the media, in many cases, is owned by the politicians themselves. A very disturbing trend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laith Mushtaq

    She gave me this book , Amy Goodman she is the best American person I met on My life

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carey Hughes

    In “The Exception to the Rulers,” Amy Goodman shines a spotlight on the corners of our democracy that corporate and political elites purposefully obscure. In doing so, she demonstrates the failures and complicity of corporate journalism. Goodman presents fresh and insightful perspectives on the U.S. occupation of Iraq, relationship with Saudi Arabia, and involvement in Afghanistan. She also covers the way national protests are undermined, the war crimes of our military and State Department (in A In “The Exception to the Rulers,” Amy Goodman shines a spotlight on the corners of our democracy that corporate and political elites purposefully obscure. In doing so, she demonstrates the failures and complicity of corporate journalism. Goodman presents fresh and insightful perspectives on the U.S. occupation of Iraq, relationship with Saudi Arabia, and involvement in Afghanistan. She also covers the way national protests are undermined, the war crimes of our military and State Department (in Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Laos, Nigeria, Panama, and Vietnam), and the influence of the fossil fuel industry on U.S. foreign policy (and other profiteering war mongers like Bechtel, the Carlyle Group, Fluor, and Halliburton). Goodman implicates both political parties (Truman, Carter, and Clinton, although the Red Team (Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and II) is unsurprisingly the more frequent infractor as its platform consists of openly supporting the enablement of oppression, corporate corruption, and resource exploitation). Goodman’s experiences as an independent journalist all demonstrate how difficult it is to stand up to these entrenched, powerful interests. ** “Social change does not spring forth from the minds of generals or presidents—in fact, change is often blocked by the powerful.” - Amy Goodman “Of the hundred largest economies right now, more than half of them are not countries—they are corporations.” - Amy Goodman

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ramin

    This is an interesting book, and a book worth reading. It's written in an informal and engaging style, and it's a quick read. It's mostly about the media coverage of particular events, and the connections between politicians, corporations, and unpopular regimes. The book begins with Amy Goodman describing the Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor, which she witnessed with fellow journalist Allan Nairn. What I liked the most about it is that you learn Amy Goodman's passionate views about the purpose This is an interesting book, and a book worth reading. It's written in an informal and engaging style, and it's a quick read. It's mostly about the media coverage of particular events, and the connections between politicians, corporations, and unpopular regimes. The book begins with Amy Goodman describing the Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor, which she witnessed with fellow journalist Allan Nairn. What I liked the most about it is that you learn Amy Goodman's passionate views about the purpose of the media as a democratizing force. In my opinion, she definitely deserved the Right Livelihood Award.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Another book picked up on a whim and it turned out to be a great read. I am not particulary aware of Democracy Today or Amy Goodman for that matter, perhaps she seemed a little too left and a tad too much of the female revolotionary for me in some parts but this was a fascinating book and I read about things that I had never considered before. Reading this book will do to the news what going on a film set will do for images.. You won't believe a darn thing after you have delved a little deeper. Another book picked up on a whim and it turned out to be a great read. I am not particulary aware of Democracy Today or Amy Goodman for that matter, perhaps she seemed a little too left and a tad too much of the female revolotionary for me in some parts but this was a fascinating book and I read about things that I had never considered before. Reading this book will do to the news what going on a film set will do for images.. You won't believe a darn thing after you have delved a little deeper. Even with some concerns about the possible for bias it stands out that Goodman has principles and that in and of itself is a good enough reason to read her accounts of world events.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    A really good book, especially for fans of Democracy Now! who want to learn more about this independent news organization. I'd say that Amy Goodman and her team are - along with Greg Palast and a handful of others - among the finest, most principled, most dedicated and courageous reporters and journalists operating in America today. Every copy of this book should be well-thumbed and worn, as it deserves to be passed around between friends and family, co-workers and colleagues. Don't let your cop A really good book, especially for fans of Democracy Now! who want to learn more about this independent news organization. I'd say that Amy Goodman and her team are - along with Greg Palast and a handful of others - among the finest, most principled, most dedicated and courageous reporters and journalists operating in America today. Every copy of this book should be well-thumbed and worn, as it deserves to be passed around between friends and family, co-workers and colleagues. Don't let your copy sit on a shelf, but keep the good word moving.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    My actual "review" is more like 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. While I knew a lot of the information Goodman covered, she went into some greater detail which I found useful and interesting. That said, I thought she tended to paint with an unnecessarily broad brush at times and took a self important tone that I wasn't comfortable with. I'm a reasonably adept reader and I think she could have had more trust in me to read the information and formulate an opinion on my own. I didn't need to be told wh My actual "review" is more like 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. While I knew a lot of the information Goodman covered, she went into some greater detail which I found useful and interesting. That said, I thought she tended to paint with an unnecessarily broad brush at times and took a self important tone that I wasn't comfortable with. I'm a reasonably adept reader and I think she could have had more trust in me to read the information and formulate an opinion on my own. I didn't need to be told what to think. Good info nonetheless, presented in an interesting and readable way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    William Brandon III

    The striking thing for me, personally, is not what the book contains (the information within is absolutely necessary to understanding the GWBush administration's first four years) but that the information was available for mass-consumption in 2004. It hurts to think that if a fraction of the information compiled by Amy and David Goodman had actually been read and absorbed by American citizens, we could have avoided a second GWBush administration. I admit that the above statements probably gives The striking thing for me, personally, is not what the book contains (the information within is absolutely necessary to understanding the GWBush administration's first four years) but that the information was available for mass-consumption in 2004. It hurts to think that if a fraction of the information compiled by Amy and David Goodman had actually been read and absorbed by American citizens, we could have avoided a second GWBush administration. I admit that the above statements probably gives American voters too much credit.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cady Did

    I know mainstream politics can get annoying after awhile, but it's been great to pick this book up and have a lot of facts right in front of me. Amy Goodman provides the detailed information for some larger concepts I had of world/national politics, filling in the gaps and details that I had forgotten about, never quite connected yet, or didn't even know. I would definitely recommend it to folks who want just another reason to fight back, take back, and talk back!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Erik Hines

    Amy Goodman is a hero of mine, and this book delivers the goods for you political readers out there looking for a quick and inspiring read. Her in depth analysis of recent political history, and the parallels with corporate America's amassing of huge wealth is not only disturbing, it's downright tyrannical.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erick

    This is my favourite book thus far this year and on this topic. No one else has been as clear and compelling as Goodman in revealing how the government has most media, newspapers and TV news, under their thumb. The only rough part of the book is the listing of examples from time to time. Fantastic book otherwise!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leonart

    read long time ago...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    I try to keep up on what the quirky left is thinking by reading one of their favorite books every few months. Amy Goodman is the media darling of the left, so I thought this one would be a good book to read. It was good, but only because she stated so many things that sounded unbelievable. I was able to do quick Internet searches on these as I was reading, only to find she wasn't telling the whole story. After doing this 5 or 6 times, and only making a little bit of progress through the book, I r I try to keep up on what the quirky left is thinking by reading one of their favorite books every few months. Amy Goodman is the media darling of the left, so I thought this one would be a good book to read. It was good, but only because she stated so many things that sounded unbelievable. I was able to do quick Internet searches on these as I was reading, only to find she wasn't telling the whole story. After doing this 5 or 6 times, and only making a little bit of progress through the book, I realized it wasn't worth the effort. I just quickly completed the book and took everything she said as very likely twisted and possibly downright untrue. This is sad; because it is possible she got something of interest right. I just didn't have the time to do all the research and figure out if anything of a surprising nature was true. This will be the last book I read by Amy Goodman.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    i try to pick up a lot of progressive writers at our library because they have such slim pickings for those of a more radical streak, and i also try to pull as much concrete info as i can from varying sources. but this is such a self-congratulatory gloss of political thinking that i won't finish it to find out. and my biggest reason is how neatly she tries to tie up Osama bin Laden in context with American aggression against Russia in Afghanistan as "blowback". blowback according to more incisiv i try to pick up a lot of progressive writers at our library because they have such slim pickings for those of a more radical streak, and i also try to pull as much concrete info as i can from varying sources. but this is such a self-congratulatory gloss of political thinking that i won't finish it to find out. and my biggest reason is how neatly she tries to tie up Osama bin Laden in context with American aggression against Russia in Afghanistan as "blowback". blowback according to more incisive minds is CIA intel strategy to manage the fallout from an op or strike, not necessarily one they planned out themselves mind, to shape the reaction in the favor of "national security". not this really really tired and put to rest theory that Goodman is paid to propagate. talk about killing any chance at substance or solid info. F, i would not recommend this to fledgling lefts either.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    I used to be a big fan of Amy and her show democracy now! and read her book enthusiastically. It was right on in a lot of areas but definitely had a little bit of feminist bias. Her boldness is impressive as she reveals the dirty secrets of politicians, corporations and the media. Her experiences as a journalist put her in an unique position to critique foreign policies and their short-comings as well as giving the reader an inside view into the world of the mainstream media and its tools of dec I used to be a big fan of Amy and her show democracy now! and read her book enthusiastically. It was right on in a lot of areas but definitely had a little bit of feminist bias. Her boldness is impressive as she reveals the dirty secrets of politicians, corporations and the media. Her experiences as a journalist put her in an unique position to critique foreign policies and their short-comings as well as giving the reader an inside view into the world of the mainstream media and its tools of deception.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Contrary to (maybe) world belief, some Americans are NOT resolved to the endless war profiteer racket(we are not the only country that does this,by any means), and believe that it can be resisted, by speaking out, protests, boycotts, conscientious objection, and all the other methods we used to End the War in Vietnam. Let's do it again folks, this not about freedom, it's about who lobbies the loudest. Use your constitutional right to dissent

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    This book is really quick but extremely informative and insightful. There's a good mixture of narrative and bullet points so the reader can easily absorb the information and use it to argue more effectively with ignorant jerks. What's even better about this book is that lots of the reportage is Goodman's first hand experience. Read it! Do it!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    I listen to democracy now every morning. I love Amy Goodman. A great book for the closet revolutionary. Don't read as a bed time book, you'll spend the night tossing and turning thinking of ways to bring the man down :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Some stressful and amazing stories of reporting forgotten news stories from around the world. I had read a lot of the material about Bush Jr's policy during his reign, but had not heard as much about the oil companies in Nigeria and the Indonesian regime in East Timor. Angering and revealing!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    A marvelous journey through Amy Goodman's escapades as a journalist with equal parts adventure and education. A bit dry at times, but quite a good read nonetheless. I would read another one of her books in a heartbeat.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Go read this - and then pass it along!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tom & Beverly

    Another book that is a must read for understanding the world today

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anette

    as you read it, you can hear goodman's voice in your head, insisting on the better argument. which she has. she represents everything a true peace journalist should be.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I got the book signed by Amy when she visited UW-Milwaukee two years ago.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I can always read about dirty little secrets

  28. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    I read this some time ago so don't recall details. It's a good, straightforward book, written clearly, with details.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Liz Cochran

    Good book. Contains a lot of information.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joanie

    Because I purchase books in quantities that exceed that time I have to read them, I often read books years after I have purchased them. Consequently, sometimes I read books that are a bit dated, and this book is an example. Amy Goodman really takes President George W. Bush to task, as well as VP Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and many others with ties to big oil and other corporate interests for placing loyalty to corporate interests over the common good. (Although, I could not help but think whet Because I purchase books in quantities that exceed that time I have to read them, I often read books years after I have purchased them. Consequently, sometimes I read books that are a bit dated, and this book is an example. Amy Goodman really takes President George W. Bush to task, as well as VP Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and many others with ties to big oil and other corporate interests for placing loyalty to corporate interests over the common good. (Although, I could not help but think whether the current occupant of the White House might make her feel a bit more favorably toward President Bush. Who knows?) What was really eye-opening to me was the complicity of the media in so many things the government does. Time and time again, corporate media companies are really in bed with politicians and living symbiotically with them. As someone who likes to think she is already moderately well-informed, some of the revelations in this book were jarring.

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