The Soprano State
Written by: Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure
Published By: St. Martin’s Press
Reviewed by Dorothy Doremus
Baddabing, this book is a great read! Authors Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure, experts on New Jersey’s nightmare of politics, expose the bosses, hacks and connected in the book, The Soprano State. They take on the machine of corruption and cash that seem to go hand in hand with the people elected to do the will of the constituents. Let me tell you, if these people were in charge of my best interests I would be really scared…oh, that’s right, they are! Time to move!
The Soprano State really takes you on a rollercoaster ride. I couldn’t decide if I was mad as hell, sad at the state of the state or if I was somewhere in the twilight zone laughing like crazy. I mean, you go from the exploits of Christie Whitman, Jim McGreevey and Jon Corzine to a judge that was arrested for stealing twenty-nine dollars worth of merchandise in T.J. Maxx, blaming the theft on her severe menopause - only in New Jersey! There are so many purchased political figures in this book, the title could have been “To the Highest Bidder”. It seems like most of the legislature on the state and local levels needs to be investigated.
Then we have the Attorney General involved in ticket fixing…come on folks! No wonder we are the laughing stock of America. At least the Soprano family was fictitious. When reading this book, you may stop, thinking – this all can’t be true. Who? How? Why? Guess what, it’s all true. Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure provide so much detail and have so many years of experience covering the state house that everything is written in a wonderfully detailed timeline. I found myself shaking my head a lot while reading this book. Oh, don’t worry, along with all of the shaking came a ton of laughs. Who couldn’t laugh at an official getting out of a speeding ticket because of a blazing yeast infection? Or a Governor mysteriously breaking his leg on a romantic walk on the beach with his wife…or maybe it wasn’t his wife…
I like to consider myself well-informed and I couldn’t believe all of the events that had escaped my ears. It was as if I hadn’t been paying attention at all. I can now understand why over 8,000 people are leaving the Great Garden State each month. All I can say is well done, Bob and Sandy, well done.
P.S.: Please do a sequel! After all, New Jersey politicians provide us with new material on a daily basis!