icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Under the Influence: Congress, Lobbies, and the American Pork-Barrel System

"Written with rueful humor and an eye for detail, this book ought to be a primer for every American voter." --S. Eugene Thompson, Whitman Magazine

"Hooray! Ashworth is 100 percent right....This is a book that every voter and taxpayer should read and call as vividly as he knows how to the attention of his Congressman." --Senator William Proxmire


  • Would you vote for a construction program designed to turn Dallas, Texas into a seaport?
  • Would you spend close to $100 million on a project that would benefit less than 100 property owners?
  • Would you vote to put 200 thousand acres of productive farmland under water in order to irrigate another 220 thousand acres of farmland that already is productive without irrigation?
  • Would you let engineers build a dam on a site designated unsafe by geological experts and then shrug off the loss of life caused by its collapse?

Don't be so quick to say "No!" Your elected representatives in Washington D. C. do this sort of thing every day. Can 535 national legislators be all wrong?

In this book, William Ashworth dramatically lays bare the American pork-barrel system, revealing how and why the U.S Congress annually wastes billions of dollars on special-interest projects the public does not want or need. Even you have your part in it, regardless of whether you answered "Yes" or "No" to any or all of the questions above. Learn how and why the American taxpayer is continually being bilked. Find out what it is that makes even the best Congressman or Senator take a turn at the pork barrel. Even for those who could never follow theories or outlines of government, here's an easily unsterstood look at how government (sadly) works. Sometimes it will make you laugh; sometimes it will make you furious. It always makes you pay.
--from the jacket

Paperback published by Hawthorn/Dutton, New York (1981). Forward by Congressman Jim Weaver.