When long-time New York State Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver was led from his home in handcuffs early in 2015, accused of several counts of corruption—of repetitively using his public office for excessive private gain—his perp walk formed a perfect coda to the myriad lessons of Teachout’s exemplary, very readable, book. Andrew Cuomo, Teachout’s winning opponent in the New York Democratic primary race in September 2014 for governor, a previous backer of Silver, quickly redoubled his anti-corruption reform efforts and distanced himself from Silver, as he had from Teachout’s admonitory campaigning.

Nearly all of Corruption in America is a legally focused and organized narrative of how and under what myriad circumstances our Founding Fathers (and occasional mother) tried to prevent and/or control corrupt behavior on the part of this country’s pre-republican, early republican, and, as it turns out, more modern leaders. They stipulated that our ambassadors should not succumb to the...

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