We are living in a time of mind-boggling corruption, but we are also, as it happens, living in a golden age of whistleblowing. Over the past two decades, the brave insiders who decide to expose wrongdoing have gained unprecedented legal and social stature, emerging as the government's best weapon against corporate misconduct - and the citizenry's best defense against government gone bad. They are also forcing us to consider fundamental questions about our democracy, especially the proper balance between free speech and state secrecy, and between individual rights and corporate power.
Drawing on relentless original research, including in-depth interviews with more than 200 whistleblowers and the elite coterie of legal trailblazers who have armed them for battle - plus scores of politicians, intelligence analysts, government watchdogs, cognitive scientists, and other experts - Crisis of Conscience is a modern-day David-and-Goliath saga, told through a series of riveting cases drawn from Big Pharma, the military, and beyond. Whistleblowers are not only heroes who expose and anatomise corruption and ensure that it is punished usually at enormous cost to themselves - Mueller shows how they are also models we all must think and act more like if our democracy is to survive.
Country of Publication:
04 February 2020
Professional and scholarly
1: Becoming a Whistleblower 2: Question Authority 3: The Money Dance 4: Blood Ivory Towers 5: Reaping the Nuclear Harvest 6: Money Makes the World Go Round 7: Ministries of Truth EPILOGUE: The Banana Republic Wasn't Built in a Day
Tom Mueller's writing has appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.
Reviews for Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud
Unauthorized disclosures by whistleblowers are the lifeblood of a republic. As many of Mueller's fascinating cases show, misplaced loyalty - exclusively to a boss or an organization or a president - can be betrayal: of the health of consumers, of an oath to the Constitution, or of a war's worth of lives. * Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Doomsday Machine * An extraordinary book, both meticulously researched and a page-turner. Crisis of Conscience is a call to arms and to action, for anyone with a conscience, anyone alarmed about the decline of our democracy. * Wendell Potter, author of Nation on the Take * A fascinating history of the self-deputized referees who blow the whistle on illicit activities. * Booklist * Engrossingly examines the ethics, mechanics, and reverberations of whistleblowing of all kinds, emphasizing how bitterly controversial the practice remains, posing a clash between group loyalty and individual conscience... Superb reporting on brave people who decided, It would have been criminal for me not to act. * Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) * Mueller's powerful but disheartening story of pervasive fraud and a general collapse of ethical behavior with only glimmers of hope from the bravery of whistleblowers is fully accessible to general readers and substantive enough for academic audiences; a must-read. * Library Journal (Starred Review) *