Secret Empires

How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends
Narrated by: Charles Constant
Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,202 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Number one New York Times best seller! 

America's top politicians have discovered the scam to end all scams. 

Peter Schweizer has been fighting corruption - and winning - for years. In Throw Them All Out, he exposed insider trading by members of Congress, leading to the passage of the STOCK Act. In Extortion, he uncovered how politicians use mafia-like tactics to enrich themselves. And in Clinton Cash, he revealed the Clintons’ massive money machine and sparked an FBI investigation. 

Now he explains how a new corruption has taken hold, involving larger sums of money than ever before. Stuffing tens of thousands of dollars into a freezer has morphed into multibillion-dollar equity deals done in the dark corners of the world. 

An American bank opening in China would be prohibited by US law from hiring a slew of family members of top Chinese politicians. However, a Chinese bank opening in America can hire anyone it wants. It can even invite the friends and families of American politicians to invest in can’t-lose deals. 

President Donald Trump’s children have made front pages across the world for their dicey transactions. However, the media has barely looked into questionable deals made by those close to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Mitch McConnell, and lesser-known politicians who have been in the game longer. 

In many parts of the world, the children of powerful political figures go into business and profit handsomely, not necessarily because they are good at it, but because people want to curry favor with their influential parents. This is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. But for relatives of some prominent political families, we may already be talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Deeply researched and packed with shocking revelations, Secret Empires identifies public servants who cannot be trusted and provides a path toward a more accountable government. 

©2018 Peter Schweizer (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers
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Very enlightening

What did you like best about this story?

I found the book non partisan, which is important to me in these days of divisiveness. Conclusions were all backed up with facts. I'm surprised this is not getting more media attention. Great and easy read. Unfortunately, it makes me even more cynical of our process. Is it inevitable that all politicians become corrupt? Who are the good guys?

49 people found this helpful

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Disheartening to learn about but a major wake up

What made the experience of listening to Secret Empires the most enjoyable?

This story, like other Schweitzer expose books, brings to light how huge the swamp is in the US Capital. It has always struck me as odd that politicians, actors, and news people, when marries, retain different last names. Obviously it is more complex.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Nobody

Have you listened to any of Charles Constant’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not sure

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

America Must Drain the Swamp

Any additional comments?

Our country was not designed to have royalty or a ruling class. Anyone who got wealthy in politics should probably be in jail.

17 people found this helpful

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Should be mandatory reading for voting age adults!

You wouldn’t think, given the pragmatic nature of the subject matter, that an author could suck you in with a book about corruption hidden in plain sight... but I couldn’t put it down.

I breezed through this book in a fraction of the time it normally takes me, then when I was done I purchased Clinton Cash, I’m about to give that one a go now.

Well written, well narrated, meticulously researched and referenced... and timely, well in advance of midterm elections.

31 people found this helpful

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Secret Empires

A very good book that everyone should read. Shows the real need for Term Limits. Will wake up the disgust for the political system and those in it!

13 people found this helpful

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Drain the swamp

This book will open your eyes to the corruption that our politicians have been getting away with for decades both parties are guilty

30 people found this helpful

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If this doesn't get traction......

The Swamp has not been drained.

To think that a Democracy can put up with the Princes and their fathers working the Regulatory System to their favor is not only wrong but should be dealt with aggressively.

OK Coal can be bad but rather that fix it they literally kick the s _ _ _ out of it until the stock is washed out. Buddies buy up the stock then the cronies and the children of regulators go in and buy it up.

How can that be allowed? Ask John Kerry, Barach Obama, and Joe Biden as they were some of the biggest perpetrators and benefited the most.

Put them all in JAIL.........NOW. and make it a law that the children, surrogates and close relations to members of the US Congress and Senate MAY NOT benefit from the Smash and Grab strategy.

This is not only wrong, it undermines the legitimate government of the USA.

TD

17 people found this helpful

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Lots of facts

Well, not only is the book filled with facts but it's really depressing too. To think of what politicians get away with is really depressing. I could only listen in small segments because the examples got to me. But I didn't want to rate it less than 5 stars just because I was depressed by the greed in our government. Peter Schweizer gave great examples of corruption on both sides of the aisle. It's sickening. Probably should be illegal.

7 people found this helpful

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Eye opening

Very well written with well placed facts and more importantly, UNBIASED! I can only hope that voters take the time to read/listen to this book.

6 people found this helpful

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government corruption

This is an eye-opening account of corruption through money deals to family and friends of Presidents, Vice-Presidents and both the Senate and House members in both parties. Reading it will help you understand why Congress doesn't want to investigate Biden and his son---- it would expose too many doing the same thing in both parties.

5 people found this helpful

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I enjoyed it, pretty quick, variety of cases

If you are at all interested in the subject of political corruption, this is a very goo introduction to the modern landscape. Focus is on the Obama administration but draws from previous examples and dips into Trump's campaign and initial year in office. Writing is concise but because the author uses a lot of evidence and examples it can get dry. Narration is pretty good but again can get a little stale and monotone.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Karl Deeter
  • 06-30-20

Excellent and revealing

This book looks at the ties between Washington and businesses, lobbyists, and political power in a way that demonstrates the worrying close connections that weren't illuminated during the Obama presidency and which are too common (but covered better) in the Trump era.

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  • LondonBubble
  • 12-29-19

A nice and in depth snapshot of the swamp

Really well researched and to the point. Hillary and Obama are crooks nothing new there but nice to hear more the evidence about it

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  • mr jr burbidge
  • 04-18-18

Wonderful!

This was an enjoyable romp into the
shady world of Washington politics.
Well worth a listen.

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  • Elizabeth
  • 10-19-19

it's gotta stop

enlighten look at the swamp that needs draining so badly. long before Trump, the atmosphere in Washington is more about personal power than serving the people.

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  • Hank
  • 04-22-18

Good read/ listen

very interesting. very informative on how the children of politicians can and do benefit from wishing in business wishing to get something in return. Covers both republicans and democrats including President Trump. makes some interesting points on the degree of scrutiny upon politicians on former recent years as compared to today. basically whoever the media favours or doesn't favour does have a bearing on the level of scrutiny places upon particular politicians. e.g. the smash and grab activities by Obama's choose associates and friend who benefited from the regulation of the coal industry. heaps in here from both sides of the political spectrum. Recommend.