With CRONIES (Public Affairs), Texas journalist ROBERT BRYCE explores the perception that the interests of big business and the ruling Republicans have become one and the same. Bryce catalogs Texas politicos' long history of cozying up with industry—Democrat LBJ steered contracts to his men at Brown and Root—but he says that the oil-business ties of the recent Bush administrations are far more troubling. Chronicling the escalation of billion-dollar global back-scratching between public officials and corporate powerhouses like Halliburton, the Carlyle Group, and Enron, he makes the case that the GOP's focus on oil and profit has created decades of international woes—including the current imbroglio in Iraq. The result is a scathing indictment that will not win him endorsements at whitehouse.gov.

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