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Abuse of Power: How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain Paperback – June, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"A hard-hitting expose of another of Big Brother's tricks...If it doesn't make you grind your teeth, nothing will." -- William A. Rusher - Former publisher of National Review

"Abuse of Power is must read for anyone interested in understanding the pervasive plundering committed by governments across this nation." -- James Bovard - Author, Terrorism and Tyranny Feeling Your Pain, Freedom in Chains & Lost Rights

About the Author

Steven M. Greenhut A former editor for Better Homes and Gardens magazine, Mr. Greenhut is currently a senior editorial writer and columnist for the Orange County Register, Santa Ana, California. He is a widely published commentator who writes extensively about property rights and eminent domain abuses. Greenhut lives with his wife and three daughters in Southern California.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Locks Press (June 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931643377
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931643375
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,285,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By John Seiler on August 16, 2004
Your home and business are not safe. Government can grab them at any time using anti-property redevelopment laws, paying you a pittance. Government then can give your property to a private company to develop as a mall or theme park.

That's the frightening story told in "Abuse of Power: How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain," Steven Greenhut's new book.

An editorial writer for six years with The Orange County Register, his articles have saved the property of thousands of homeowners and hundreds of businesses and churches. The total value of property protected must be more than $100 million.

Greenhut describes how, in Garden Grove, Calif., the city wanted to redevelop the land because a theme park would have paid them mountains of dollars in sales taxes, whereas people living happily in their homes pay much less in property tax. Citizens fought, and won. Citizens in other cities weren't so lucky.

More than just a description of assaults on private property, "Abuse of Power" is a guidebook on how to challenge powerful governments and big businesses.

Chapter 18 is "Fighting Back and Winning." It includes chapters describing: "Build Broad Coalitions," "Go On the Offensive," "Be Positive, Not Just Reactive," "Don't Lose Sight of Principles" and "Keep it Simple."

The book ends with lists of organizations and Web sites to help wage the fight and 417 footnotes.

"Abuse of Power" is a manifesto for taking back the right to property ownership. As Greenhut says, property rights are human rights.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Lusvardi on August 31, 2004
Verified Purchase
As someone who has worked on the other side of the table in eminent domain for government agencies for over 20-years, allow me to unhesitatingly endorse Orange County Register columnist Steven Greenhut's book Abuse of Power: How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain. For this book to be authored by a journalist is unusual because, while it is an expose mainly of the abuses of condemnation, on many aspects it reflects an insider's knowledge of the eminent domain game. Any good journalist knows the formula for writing a popular book -- champion the little guy against big government or large corporations. But Greenhut's book is not just another tale of victimology meant only to make money selling books. There are entire shelves of popular books out there that make out some bug or plant as the victim of development as an excuse to steal someone's property. There are many guidebooks to help government agencies in taking property for redevelopment projects that short change the small property owner because there isn't enough money at stake to hire an attorney or appraiser. There are innumerable regulations that can invisibly transfer the bulk of the value of vacant land for the benefit of others without just compensation. Greenhut's book is an antidote to all the above. It is a highly readable 300 pages with 417 endnotes and a helpful list of resource organizations for property owners. Greenhut is on to something big - really big -- in his book. Government property acquisitions for redevelopment projects are predicated on the buy low - sell high principle to make the project pencil out. Greenhut points out the upsidedown definition of "blight" in redevelopment projects as the absence of something, namely tax-producing commercial development, not the presence of slums or hazardous conditions.Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 3, 2004
Author does a fantastic job of documenting cases where city council members and local governments propose a dime on the dollar to take private property in order to allow big business to add taxes to their pockets. No accountability! Small property owners do not generally have the money to hire the right lawyers to fight the system and are often overcome by eminent domain abuses of the local government. Without a lawyer, it is hard to know the law well enough to fight local government abuse of power. Books like this one can highlight what should be a great bipartisan case to protect average citizens like us.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Linda Iwaniw on October 4, 2004
Kelo, et al v New Haven, Conn. will be heard by the Supreme Court this session. New Haven is attempting to condemn a series of properties and LEASE the land to a developer for 99 years at a $1 a year. That is a unique twist. The city will own the land but the developer gets to build and sell the houses and commercial buildings. What makes this even more incredible is that the new owners of the the homes, never own the land. So 20 or 30 years from now the city can take their houses and build something else the "City" deems better use of the land.

A Must Read!!!
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