THE POWER PEDDLERS: How Lobbyists Mold America's Foreign Policy by Russell Warren & Sarah Hays Trott Howe
Kirkus Star

THE POWER PEDDLERS: How Lobbyists Mold America's Foreign Policy

Email this review


Is Washington swarming with preying influence peddlers? Are there many unregistered foreign agents? Do they have the clout to extort or finesse favors from congressmen and the media? Emphatically yes, say the authors, who wouldn't bat an eyelash at the current newsworthiness of Tongsun Park, alleged conduit of South Korean funds to several congressmen. Happens alt the time. As evidence, they've put together the innocent's guide to lobbyists: Greek juntaists and anti-juntaists; the Latin American ""sugar Mafia""; Mrs. Anna Chan Chennault, a freelancer for what's left of the old China lobby (""a powerful cocktail of Kung Fu and ginseng""); Kirby Jones, also a freelancer but on the left--selling the normalization of Cuban-American relations. The most powerful are the intimidating Israelis (""perhaps the single greatest achievement of the Israel lobby has been to preserve Israel's image as the underdog""); congressmen who try to buck Morris J. Amitay of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are subjected to highly organized arm-twisting. Generally, though, lobbyists are ingratiating, dispensing foreign junkets, remunerative speaking engagements, and, of course, campaign funds. Lawyers and PR firms work with cool professionalism and the hill crawls with ex-congressmen and government officials gainfully employed to improve the image or the trade of Haiti, Greece, Japan, or Rhodesia. Some of the dirt on this unique growth industry was dug up by the Foreign Relations Committee in 1963, but the authors allege that the FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) is still full of loopholes and disclosure is risibly lax; in the words of ex-Senator Fulbright, ""People ignore the Act or get by it""--a contention documented here in dense and minute detail. Even discounting a certain penchant for the sinister, there's enough here for several stink bombs.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1976
Publisher: Doubleday