K Street: Home to the lobbyists and policy wonks satirised in "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?"
Christopher Buckley is often and deservedly called America's leading political satirist. He is certainly its funniest. His most successful novel, Thank You for Smoking, was published in 1994 and made into an amusing movie released in 2006. They Eat Puppies, Don't They? is his ninth comic novel.
Buckley knows Washington's political and lobbying culture from the inside. He is the son of William F. Buckley, intellectual leader of the modern American conservative movement and a prolific journalist, author and television personality. In 1955, William F. founded National Review, which for five decades under his editorship and ownership was America's leading conservative journal of opinion.
Buckley came to Washington as a young man in 1981 to become speechwriter for Vice President George Bush. Buckley's father died in early 2008, and later that year Buckley wrote an article explaining why he was going to disappoint Dad and vote for Barack Obama.
They Eat Puppies, Don't They? (the title refers to Chinese culinary tastes) begins brilliantly with Walter "Bird" McIntyre as the young top lobbyist for a major aerospace defence contractor, Groepping-Sprunt. When Congress kills funding for their jumbo-jet-size predator drone (nicknamed Dumbo), Groepping-Sprunt's CEO gives Bird a new assignment: create a phony think-tank and convince the American people that China poses a massive threat to the United States. "Putting the red back into Red China" will build support for funding the company's latest goofy but colossally expensive, top-secret weapons project.