A co-worker just handed me Robert Bryce’s Cronies. From the Publisher’s description:
Texans are running the country — maybe the world. Now the author of Pipe Dreams examines who they are, how they got into power, and how they reward themselves and each other, often at the expense of American taxpayers.
No other province holds more political and economic power than the Lone Star State. Two of the last three American presidents — and three of the last eight — have been Texans. Each of them got to the White House by exploiting a network of money and power that no other state can match.
…investigative reporter Robert Bryce illuminates how Texas turned its vast energy resources into political power, and how a small group of Texas corporations, lawyers and politicians use that power to protect and defend their own economic interests. Through an absorbing narrative that moves from the days of the oil boom, through the rise and reign of LBJ, to today, Bryce profiles the Texans and the Texas corporations who have wielded — and continue to wield — great power in America’s domestic and foreign policy, including the Bushes, James A. Baker III, Halliburton, Baker Botts, Ray Hunt, Bell Helicopter, and more. He shows how massive transfers of wealth from the rest of the country to Texas have allowed the state to prosper.
Cronies demonstrates how George W. Bush is the living embodiment of Texas’ crony networks, and how those networks continue to play critical roles in the 21st century.