The Book of Revelations

by Joshua Foust on 11/4/2008 · 6 comments

Nathan Hodge is all a-wowza over Ken Silverstein’s book length padded magazine essay about lobbyists in the DC. Really. What a stunning revelation, that lobbyists are corrupt and there is fraud in Defense appropriations. I mean, does he count on his readers (either author, in fact) never reading a newspaper or magazine? Aside, perhaps, from Harpers?

Silverstein’s book is, of course, a padded version of his essay about lobbyists—which made for an entertaining if overwrought essay, but I fail to see how it’s also a 224 page book.

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– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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Keith G. November 4, 2008 at 8:38 pm

I suggest you read the book before commenting on it, unless you feel the entire subject is not worth exploring by anyone for any reason. Which might be a valid view, if you’d read the book.

Joshua Foust November 5, 2008 at 10:44 am


Nope. The essay was fine — nothing spectacular, but also not especially noteworthy. I refuse to believe it makes an interesting or compelling book. Anyone who thinks he’s getting a scoop by offering a lobbyist firm $6,000 a month for services (a defense lobbyist poops that much after lunch) really isn’t worth my attention.

Travis R. November 5, 2008 at 12:53 pm


You fail to mention that this work is primarily about defense contractors. I find it more than a bit hypocritical that you only focus on the lobbyist side of the debate.

Josh, could this be a function that you work for a questionable defense contractors? I would appreciate your response. My experience is that the defense contractor community is extremely sleazy.

Joshua Foust November 5, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Travis, I have worked for a variety of defense contractors for a significant majority of my adult life. Our experiences match. Notice the quip about defense lobbyists in my comment above, and in the post — I know it is also about defense contractors.

I also know for a fact Silverstein is breaking zero new ground here.

Travis R. November 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm


I appreciate your response. Any hope for you leaving the defense contractor world?

Joshua Foust November 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Hope? Yes. I’d like to do grad school, get my PhD, and move into academia. Right now I enjoy being able to pay off my student loans, and I kind of like being able to eat out every once in a while and travel. Haven’t figure out how to reconcile that with the grad student-starvation routine.

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