Charles Lewis has been doing original reporting and research about political power and influence in America since 1977. He and the organization he founded and led for 15 years, the Center for Public Integrity, have produced unprecedented, award-winning reports and books about democracy, corruption, and government accountability in the United States and around the world.
Co-author of five Center books and contributor to a sixth, Lewis is probably best known for The Buying of the President series of investigative books about the U.S. presidential candidates, their political parties and their special interest "career patron" relationships, published in 1996, 2000 and 2004. The most recent book was on the New York Times bestseller (short or extended) list for three months.
For years Lewis has traveled and spoken extensively about his books and other work, directly to public audiences and in hundreds of news media interviews. He has guest lectured at more than two dozen major colleges and universities, including American, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cambridge (England), Columbia, Delaware, Florida Atlantic, Georgetown, George Washington, Harvard, Ithaca, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, NYU, Northwestern, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Ohio State, Pennsylvania, Penn State, Princeton, USC, Stanford, Trinity College (San Antonio, TX), Tufts, Virginia, US Military Academy (West Point) and Wisconsin.
In his new book, 935 Lies, Lewis investigates the deadliest abuses of power by government and companies, how the news media's "watchdog" role is changing, and the future of truth in America.
The Corruption Notebooks: 25 Investigative Journalists Report on Abuses of Power in Their Home Country is a no-holds-barred collection of essays by leading investigative journalists around the world who have spent years fearlessly investigating the powers that be in their respective countries. Their writing reveals how rich and poor democracies, including the United States, are susceptible to political corruption.
(Public Integrity Books: 2004)
The Buying of the President 2004 exposes the most powerful interests behind the major presidential candidates, and is the only book of its kind with investigative profiles and personal histories of leading White House aspirants, based upon millions of federal and state government records and interviews with more than 600 people, including former President Jimmy Carter and current or former Senators John McCain and Robert Dole.
New York Times Bestseller!
The Cheating of America: How Tax Avoidance and Evasion by the Super Rich Are Costing the Country Billions – and What You Can Do About It ( It (with co-author Bill Allison) investigates, identifies and confronts some of the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations for dodging taxes that nearly everyone else pays. Researchers analyzed thousands of U.S. Tax Court and other federal records and interviewed hundreds of officials, lawyers, accountants, and others.
(William Morrow: 2001)
The Buying of the President 2000 first disclosed that Enron was the top “career patron” bankrolling George W. Bush, and was produced by roughly two dozen researchers, writers and editors who exhaustively scrutinized the backgrounds and financial entanglements of Bush, Vice President Al Gore and all of the major presidential candidates and their political parties.
The Buying of the Congress: How Special Interests Have Stolen Your Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness was denounced as “ridiculous” by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich when it was published. Prepared by 36 researchers, writers and editors who interviewed more than 1,200 people and combed through hundreds of thousands of federal records, this book “follows the money” and reveals how and why Congress is so unresponsive to the basic concerns of ordinary citizens.
The Buying of the President for the first time in American politics systematically examines the financial relationships and entanglements of America’s presidential candidates, exposing, among other things, their “Top Ten Career Patrons.” Inspiring a PBS Frontline documentary and syndicated by the New York Times, the book also features a Foreword by author Kevin Phillips.
Charles Lewis, a former 60 Minutes producer who founded The Center for Public Integrity, is a MacArthur Fellow and the founding executive editor of the new Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.
Lewis regularly travels nationally and internationally to talk about investigative reporting and the future of journalism.