Monday, January 21, 2008

BOOK REVIEW - The End of America

The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
Naomi Wolf
Chelsea Green, 2007
156 pages

This is an uncomfortable read. In this book, framed as a letter to a young friend, Wolf delineates the ten steps dictators take to turn an open society in to a closed society and shows us how these have been taking place in modern America. The ten steps are:

1. Invoke an external and internal threat
2. Establish secret prisons
3. Develop a paramilitary force
4. Surveil ordinary citizens
5. Infiltrate citizens' groups
6. Arbitrarily detain and release citizens
7. Target key individuals
8. Restrict the press
9. Cast criticism as "espionage" and dissent as "treason"
10. Subvert the rule of law

To be honest I am not sure how to discuss this book, which might be a problem as the point of the book is to engender discussion on the state of America and what the "average" citizen can do. I know this is not much of a review but I feel like so many points Wolf makes are self-evident that I do not know how to discuss them without just copying directly from the source. At a mere 156 pages I think it would be better for you to go and read the source and I HIGHLY recommend that you do just that. This book comes at a critical time for American democracy and is an essential read for anyone interested in the future of a free and thriving America.

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