Inside Public Integrity

Published — September 19, 2013 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:51 pm ET

Timeless investigations now found in one place


Over the past 25 years, The Center for Public Integrity has produced more than 30 books based on our deep investigative reporting. The topics of these publications have ranged widely, from who buys presidential candidates to what companies profit most from war contracts. All of these books, I’m happy to say, are now available on our website.

Our work from the past six years includes about 15 eBooks, or digital newsbooks. These 15 newsbooks are accessible here as free downloads from the website. The widespread adoption of tablets and e-readers has created a robust demand for eBooks. I believe our digital newsbooks provide a terrific reading experience, making it easier than ever to digest one of our long-form investigative projects. We are able to collect all of the related pieces into one downloadable newsbook that can be taken on the road or read at leisure, much like a print book.

For example, you’ll discover more than two dozen reports pulled together in one digital newsbook from our international tax haven project—Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Money Maze. You can also find all of our award-winning work on over-fishing—called Looting the Seas—and our landmark project, Who is Behind the Financial Meltdown, on the top 25 subprime lenders and their financial backers. (As we reported last week, many of the leaders of these non-bank lending entities are back in the mortgage lending business five years after the crash.)

The Center’s earlier books were published in hardback and paperback, and all these are available via a special Center for Public Integrity website collection on Amazon. You can find all three publications in the Buying of the President series by Charles Lewis (1996, 2000 and 2004, which was a best-seller). Lewis was the founder of The Center for Public Integrity and the organization’s executive director for its first 15 years.

Some of the Center’s classic probes are as current today as they were when first published. That’s because the issues are much the same. Take for example, The Buying of Congress: How Special Interests Have Stolen Your Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (1998). The only things that have changed are the names of the lawmakers and the fact that there are so many more special interests now, and their spending has skyrocketed.

In a similar fashion, Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and Endangers Your Health (1996), tells the story of how the chemical industry deploys legions of lobbyists, lawyers, scientists, and public relations experts to camouflage the increasing levels of toxic pollution in America. The industry also seeks to prevent reasonable regulations of dangerous chemicals in the United States. The book has a similar ring to the investigation we published just last week on how the American Chemistry Council seeks to prevent states from regulating toxic chemicals.

That new chemical industry project is itself an echo of a 2002 book, Capitol Offenders: How Private Interests Govern Our States. The book’s title accurately depicts the current crisis at the state level: “A scourge of legalized corruption is spreading through state capitols across the country. With little fear of exposure, vested interests have turned one statehouse after another into private preserves for their agendas, imperiling our health and safety, our wallets, our environment, and our rights as citizens in the process.” This was the first investigative book to expose the close ties between state lawmakers and major industries, documenting the fusion of public service and private interests.

The tax avoidance and tax evasion problem we wrote about in 2001 has also gotten worse; that report is the backdrop for the offshore tax haven project launched earlier this year on a global basis (as noted above). The book is called The Cheating of America: How Tax Avoidance and Evasion by the Super Rich Are Costing the Country Billions — and What You Can Do About It.

Finally, for anyone who wants to do their own sleuthing, the Center produced a “how-to” book in 2000 that is still available via the Amazon website. Citizen Muckraking: How to Investigate and Right Wrongs in Your Community, is a hands-on, practical guide to being an effective muckraker, detailing methods used by investigative reporters to uncover and address the ethical lapses of corporate and government groups that affect even small communities. The narrative also includes case histories in which one person or community illuminated the damaging truths behind corrupt powerbrokers, with inspiring results.

These are just some of the titles available. All together, they provide a vivid picture of the scope and ambition of The Center for Public Integrity over the last quarter century. We’re proud of the Center’s track record. And we’re not done yet.

Until next week,

Read more in Inside Public Integrity

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