Praise for Corporate Bullsh*t:
"Corporate Bullsh*t by Nick Hanauer, Joan Walsh, and Donald Cohen performs a useful public service by amassing a wealth of quotations from across 150 years of American social policy to show how a certain set of talking points recurs over and over in the effort to stymie progressive social change."
"A welcome user’s guide to maneuvering the thicket of lies that constitutes so much discourse today."
"If you ever feel like you’re fighting the same bogus corporate arguments over and over, read this useful book. It will help you respond to every standard BS claim and teach everyone the truth."
—Robert B. Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and author of Saving Capitalism
"As an elected official, I hear these lies from corporate special interests all the time: Raising taxes on the rich will kill jobs, raising the minimum wage will hurt the very people it’s intended to help, and regulation will destroy business. None of them are true, but they’re carefully crafted to trick working people into prioritizing corporate interests over their own. Corporate Bullsh*t pulls back the curtain on their game plan and makes a compelling argument for reforms to grow America from the bottom up and the middle out."
—Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
"Whether it’s 1923 or 2023, the same trickle-down nonsense used in every boardroom in America hasn’t changed. This book pulls back the curtain on the whole racket in a way that leaves you unsure whether to laugh or cry, but sure of one thing: It’s not true. It’s never been true."
—Ben Cohen, co-founder, Ben & Jerry’s
"Corporate Bullsh*t fights the way the power elite has co-opted the so-called ‘American way,’ when so many of its priorities—unchecked corporate power, the suppression of equal rights for women and people of color, and the defunding of American institutions from labor protections to education equality—are really un-American. Read it, and fight."
—Svante Myrick, president of People for the American Way
"It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad: Corporate Bullsh*t traces how the wealthy and powerful have used the same tired excuses for centuries, to defend outrages from slavery to coal-mining deaths to unequal pay for women, through the current deadly threat of fossil-fueled climate disaster. The examples will make you laugh, and make you angry—and then make you act!"
—Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show
"This book is not only a crucial tool to combat more than a century of corporate disinformation—it’s a rollicking good read that will have you laughing out loud as you learn how to rout it and win. Get a copy into the hands of everyone you know, so we don’t get fooled again. Even your cranky uncle could change his mind."
—Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America
"Most decent people intuitively know when they’re being lied to by corporate America. We get that their narratives are propaganda deployed to line their own pockets. But we don’t always understand how. Corporate Bullsh*t exposes the nuggets of lies at the core of their stories. It pulls back the asterisk to reveal the word we knew was there all along."
—Elie Mystal, author of Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution
"Stories are powerful; they shape our thinking, limit or inspire our imagination, and speed up or slow down our response to challenges. In Corporate Bullsh*t Hanauer, Walsh, and Cohen expose six of the most powerful—and bogus—stories corporations have relied on to keep us from challenging their abuses. The first step in real progress is exposing and dismantling these stories and Corporate Bullsh*t does exactly that."
—Ann Leonard, creator of The Story of Stuff and former director of Greenpeace USA
"Corporate Bullsh*t opens a window to a secret history, an imagined gathering of lackeys and plutocrats who scheme to stifle progressive change through the constant slinging of garbage. After reading it, you’ll find yourself repeating to conservatives their bogus arguments before they even get a chance."
—David Dayen, The American Prospect
Able dissection of the lies corporations and their reputation handlers tell to “defend the indefensible.”
We hear it all the time: Raise the minimum wage, and jobs will disappear. The free market regulates itself more effectively than the government can. Raise taxes on wealthy people and—yes, jobs will disappear. Hanauer, Walsh, and Cohen calls these specimens of “concern-trolling” part of a spurious “protection racket for the superrich,” always with a hidden threat that if you don’t give them what they want, the plutocrats will pick up their toys and go home. By the authors’ account, the arguments the superrich and their vassals make hinge on six major tenets, ranging from the overarching thought that any attempt at reform will only make matters worse to the familiar canard that efforts at economic justice are socialism in action. As the narrative proceeds, they pepper it with supporting quotations from oligarch-adjacent organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which once held—in the face of any number of workplace violations—that “employers do not deliberately allow work conditions to exist which cause injury or illness.” Just so, a former Reagan-era secretary of the interior insisted that climate change in the form of a disappearing ozone layer affected only people who stood out in the sun, as if a sizable portion of the workforce didn’t labor outdoors. As the authors note, it has always been this way. When Grover Cleveland first called for an income tax on “the top 1 percent at the time…howls of complaint ensued.” Today those factories of disinformation persist in the form of think tanks, ad agencies, PACs, and—well, politicians of a certain party, all of whom the authors urge be combatted by asking hard questions: “Who’s telling the story, and how do they stand to benefit from the status quo?”
A welcome user’s guide to maneuvering the thicket of lies that constitutes so much discourse today.