cover image Break ’Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money

Break ’Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money

Zephyr Teachout. All Points, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-20089-1

Attorney and political activist Teachout (Corruption in America) makes a passionate and persuasive case for a revitalized antitrust movement to strengthen democracy and improve the lives of middle- and working-class Americans. Explaining that three large poultry processors buy and sell nearly every chicken in the U.S., allowing them to set restrictive, exploitative terms on contract farmers, Teachout forecasts the “chickenization” of the American economy. Companies like Seamless and Uber, she writes, centralize power, profit, data, and decision-making while decentralizing labor and risk. She critiques Amazon, Facebook, and Google for destroying competition; building an advertising model that fosters “surveillance, discrimination, and addiction”; and imperiling the free press. Other corporations come under fire for mandating private arbitration to settle lawsuits, “taking over” political parties and trade associations, and abetting the suppression of the minority vote. Teachout’s suggestions for reform include restoring stringent antitrust measures in place before the 1980s and overhauling the Communications Decency Act. Teachout delivers a forceful, clearly articulated vision of “moral markets” built on freedom, choice, and human dignity. Progressives will heed this clarion call for reform. Agent: Gail Ross, the Ross Yoon Agency. (May)