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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Callahan’s Cheating Culture is a tough read for a teen

In David Callahan’s book, 2004 The Cheating Culture, David Callahan examines cheating in America and how it is common throughout society. David Callahan is the author of The Moral Center and numerous articles.

This book dives into how Americans became corrupt and the cheating scandals that rocked America. Callahan makes a powerful case for why cheating matters in America. He has written numerous books and has researched an extensive amount of information about American values, business, ethics and integrity. Callahan is the author of Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and Remaking of America and State of the Union.

Callahan analyzes how cheating is everywhere and Americans are turning a blind eye to it. He cites examples of Americans “cutting corners” to achieve their goals. For example, Callahan discusses how a researcher at Harvard Medical, David Franklin, worked as a “medical liaison” for a pharmaceutical company. He had the job to reach out to doctors and convince them to prescribe to the company’s new drug, Neurontin. Due to the pressures by his superiors, this drug was promoted for “off-label” uses which were untested and dangerous for patients. As a result, Franklin lied to doctors about the benefits of Neurontin and his company offered cash payments to doctors to sign articles about the drug therefore resulting in a prescription drug scandal that had affected the medical world. Callahan’s example proved how even doctors and medical companies can resort to cheating to make profits in order to get ahead. In this chapter, Callahan is more dependent on his examples of cheating to prove his points than rather than using his own observations.

Callan further studies cheating in a bottom-line economy. He discusses how Sears, one of the most well-known retailers, was affected by a cheating scandal in the 1990s due to the Sears auto repair chain. In addition, Callahan goes further in depth about corporate law firms and how changes in corporate laws were exploited by corporate lawyers to get wealthy. Callahan even takes an inside look at how CEO’s earned their salaries and how doctors break rules of their profession by compromising their integrity. However, Callahan seems too critical and accusatory in his word choice.

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The Cheating Culture discusses professional athletes and writers who resorted to cheating to be in the “winner-take-all sports world.” Callahan looks at Barry Bonds, who was the highest- paid player in baseball in 1998, and how his glory as a star player for the San Francisco Giants turned into distrust and controversy over the use of drugs. Barry Bonds was accused of using steroids to get thirty-eight pounds of muscle to become baseball’s most powerful slugger in the late 1990s. Callahan revealed how Bonds was able to make millions of dollars by breaking hitting records due to the steroids he took without anyone suspecting him. Callahan also talks about the fall of trust in the US over the past forty years and how the winner-take-all economy affected American culture overall. Callahan creates a bad reputation and image for athletes which is extreme and a little far-fetched.

The book is well constructed yet full of compelling statistics that make it a difficult read because of the way Callahan describes America’s new economic life. Young readers might not understand the significance and point of view behind Callahan’s arguments. However, David Callahan makes readers consider what Americans should do to change this cheating culture for the better. The Cheating Culture does extensively go into temptation and corruption but because the topics are so controversial arguments that it’s becomes difficult to either agree or disagree with what is written. David Callahan’s Cheating Culture is a tough read but an eye opener for America– giving it a dose of  reality.


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About the Contributor
Neeraj Kalia
Neeraj Kalia, Reporter
Neeraj Kalia is currently a senior at Colonia High School. He currently lives at home with his mother, father, and older brother. Kalia is athletically involved in Cross Country. He is eager to be a journalist for the Colonia High School’s The Declaration. Kalia is an intelligent and hardworking student who likes writing. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

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Callahan’s Cheating Culture is a tough read for a teen