RIPOFF by Steve Allen


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Steve Allen--yes, ""The Steve. . . ,"" as it says in the foreword--has written a term paper on corruption. It is competently researched, with the right authors quoted--the likes of Nicholas Gage, Jack Anderson, and Frank Gibney--and it provides a Facts-on-File of scandals (crooked cops, stock-market fraud, dirty politics, and on and on). But why a reprise of secondary sources from such an unlikely primary source? Anticipating that question, Allen explains: ""I am infuriated by what the thieves, corporate and individual, are doing to my country. I want to preserve our system, perpetuate it, but purify it."" He even assures us that nothing would please him more than ""to learn that the present modest effort has encouraged readers to consult more reputable authority."" (He also assures us that he is neither prude nor Communist, despite his criticism of capitalism as breeding ""selfishness, cruelty, poverty,"" etc.) But Steve Allen knows what it means to be ripped off: guests at a fund-raiser in his home walked off with everything they could carry, and a former business manager relieved him of $500,000. Allen tries for solutions, offering a potpourri which includes the consumer revolution, formal religion, and ""broadcasting the message that corruption is un-American.' Unremarkable, unoriginal, and probably unnecessary.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1979
Publisher: Lyle Stuart