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Original: A Review of "Thieves in High Places" [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2016-5-7 14:45:34 |Display all floors

I am one of those who consider news about the U.S. elections annoying. Whether the next president will be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton isn't going to make a difference to the cost of the beer in my favourite watering hole. Every president, from Richard Nixon down to Barack Obama has been a disaster - except Jimmy Carter. For the world that is, not for the U.S. Americans. Why should I care what's in store for them? I am only interested in what's coming for the international community.

But then, you come by a book such as Jim Hightower's "THEY'VE STOLEN OUR COUNTRY AND IT'S TIME TO TAKE IT BACK" and suddenly my mind is electrified.

It is a lot like any film or book by Michael Moore, only more accurate. You know immediately who Jim Hightower means by "they" who have stolen the country of the U.S. American people. He gets very explicit, calling George Bush, Dick Cheney and many others "kleptocrats". He gives us example after example of how corporate U.S. America has taken over the U.S. government. The best of this book is: it is completely true, not fiction, and it reads like a thriller.

Mr Hightower, at 73, doesn't mince his words but he doesn't offer false, oversimplified analyses and solutions. For all his indignation, he doesn't call for the wholesale slaughter of fat cats, the expropriation of their assets and a redistribution of money to the poor.

Instead, he advocates popular and peaceful rebellion and protests. He says that "Rebellion is what built America".  He comes up with some examples:

- Daniel Shays, a Revolunary War veteran, organized Shay's Rebellion in New England in 1780. This rebellion was for being a wounded soldier not receiving pay for his service in the army. He never received his dues but he has gone down in history as a valiant fighter for his own rights.

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Sarah and Angelina Grimke etc., who organised a movement in the 1840s to obtain voting rights for women.
They didn't get their rights in their lifetimes but today voting rights are inalienable rights for men and women.

- Big Bill Haywood, Clara Lemlich, A. Philip Randolph, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, John L. Lewis: these are but a few who have been the fighters for American labour, challenging brutal corporate power that uses everything from the national guard to hired thugs to break the skulls of labour leaders...

- Native Americans and African Americans struggling for civil rights even today.

OK, the book is a little jaded: printed in 2003. But it is still as worthy a read as it was thirteen years ago. It has sent me to the archives to read up on the C.P.U.S.A. (the Communist Party of the U.S.A.), and the reasons why this party is languishing in politics and many other topics.

"Thieves in High Places" Viking 2003

Other books by Jim Hightower:

- "Hard Tomatoes, Hard Time. A Report on the Agribusiness Accountability Project 1972.
- "There is Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes And Dead Armadillos"
- "If the Gods Had Meant Us to Votye, They Would Have Given Us Candidates"
- "Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush" 2004
- "Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow" 2008

Quotes attributed to Jim Hightower:

"Democracy is not something thgat happens, you know, just at election time, and it's not something that happens with one event. It's an ongoing building process. But it ought to be part of our culture, a part of our lives."

"The corporations don't have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government."

"The only difference between a pigeon and the American farmer today is that a pigeon can still make a deposit on a John Deere."   

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Post time 2016-5-9 20:29:25 |Display all floors
I would have thought Pastor No. 237 accepts my book review with alacrity and gratitude...

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