If the gods hadn’t meant us to laugh, they wouldn’t have given us Jim Hightower. The rabidly populist Austinite (and former Texas ag commissioner) inspires chuckles all around as he champions workaday Americans in If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates (HarperCollins). Needless to say, the corporate and government elite he skewers will find him markedly less funny than the rabble-rouser set. Hightower’s prose is as smooth and as down-home as fresh creamery butter, but his message carries the sting of a hot mustard poultice. There will not be a more entertaining — or more powerful — indictment of American politics and business this election year.
by Mike Shea