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Alongside Night -- 30th Anniversary Edition [Kindle Edition]

J. Neil Schulman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.95
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Book Description

Note: This is the first Kindle edition of Alongside Night and it is not as perfectly formatted for Kindle as the newer Alongside Night -- The Movie Edition. But if you're looking for the text updated for the 20th anniversary edition in 1999 and preserved in the 30th anniversary edition released in 2009, this is the edition to buy since the new Movie Edition reverts to the original text of the 1979 hardcover, as well as adding new forematter and aftermatter,

Fiction in 1979!
"Elliot started briskly down Park Avenue, the boulevard busy even without its usual flow of yellow taxicabs. ... He turned west onto Fifty-ninth Street, past the plywood and soaped plate glass at General Motors Plaza...

Nonfiction in 2008!
"General Motors Corp shares fell as much as 21.6 percent to their lowest level since 1950 on Thursday amid financial market turmoil and the car maker's report of European sales declines through the first nine months of 2008. GM blamed the credit crisis and inflation for hurting consumer confidence ..."
Reuters, October 9, 2008

Fiction in 1979!
What had performed such a feat of political alchemy on Dr. Vreeland was a telephone call that the Chancellor of EUCOMTO had made to the President of the United States,which informed the President that EUCOMTO had voted no longer to accept the American New Dollar. The Chancellor explained, as politely as possible under the circumstances, that the council had felt this necessary to protect European interests from the monetary consequences of American political instability.
“Instability?” the President had asked testily. “What do you think, that you’re dealing with some banana republic?”
“Mr. President,” the Chancellor had replied, “even bananas do not decay as quickly as the value of your currency these past few months."
The vote was final; the announcement would be made in Paris, 10 A.M. Monday,. at the opening of EUCOMTO’s trading session.

NonFiction in 2009!
STRASBOURG, France – The president of the European Union on Wednesday slammed U.S. plans to spend its way out of recession as "a road to hell."
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, told the European Parliament that President Barack Obama's massive stimulus package and banking bailout "will undermine the liquidity of the global financial market."
AP, March 25, 2009

The American economy is in freefall. Markets are crashing. Inflation is soaring. Bankruptcies, foreclosures and unemployment are up, and even defense contracts are going overseas. Foreigners are buying up everything in America at firesale prices while gloating over the fall of a once great nation. Homeless people and gangs own the streets. Smugglers use the latest technology to operate bold enterprises that the government is powerless to stop, even with totalitarian spying on private communications. Anyone declared a terrorist by the administration is being sent to a secret federal prison where constitutional rights don't exist.

And caught in the middle of it all are the brilliant 17-year-old son of a missing Nobel-prizewinning economist, his best friend from prep school whose uncle was once a guerrilla fighter, and the beautiful but mysterious 17-year-old girl he meets in a secret underground ... a girl who carries a pistol with a silencer.

Building on the prophetic novels of Orwell, Rand, and Heinlein, J. Neil Schulman created in Alongside Night the first of a new generation of libertarian novels, telling the story of the last two weeks of the world's greatest superpower through the perceptive eyes of a young man caught up in the maelstrom of the final American revolution.

Alongside Night scored lavish praise for a first novel when it appeared in 1979, winning accolades from luminaries such Anthony Burgess and Nobel-prize-winner Milton Friedman.

Editorial Reviews


"An absorbing novel--science fiction, yet also a cautionary tale with a disturbing resemblance to past history and future possibilities." -- Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate in Economics

"An unabashedly polemical , libertarian novel which packages its message in a fast, effectively told action adventure." -- Publishers Weekly

"Anyone interested in freedom will find this more than readable." -- Jerry Pournelle

"Engrossing." -- Thomas S. Szasz, MD

"Here is a frightening and all too plausible picture of the near future. America is already a long way down the road that leads to it. Yet there is also a hopefulness in the story, for the author develops a philosophy, in considerable practical detail, that we could begin living by today, if we will choose to be free." -- Poul Anderson

"High Drama ... A story of high adventure, close escapes, mistaken identities, and thrilling rescues. ... A fast-moving tale of a future which is uncomfortably close at hand." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"I received Alongside Night at noon today. It is now eight in the evening and I just finished it. I think I am entitled to some dinner now as I had no lunch. The unputdownability of the book ensured that. It is a remarkable and original story, and the picture it presents of an inflation- crippled America on the verge of revolution is all too acceptable. I wish, and so will many novelists, that I, or they, had thought of the idea first. A thrilling novel, crisply written, that fires the imagination as effectively as it stimulates the feelings." -- Anthony Burgess

"Let me begin with a disclaimer: I don't really agree with many of J. Neil Schulman's ideas about society or politics or money. But his first book, Alongside Night, is as enjoyable piece of cautionary fiction as I have read in some years ... Like Ayn Rand and Robert A. Heinlein, Schulman can tell a good story!" -- Sunday Detroit News

"One of the most widely hailed libertarian novels since the classic works of Ayn Rand." -- Reason Magazine

"Probably the best libertarian novel since Atlas Shrugged." -- Science Fiction Review

"This is a radical novel. It pulls no punches, offers no compromises. It effectively presents a social, moral, and political point of view without polemic, without stridency. Without hysteria, it projects a bleak future for us all, but not without hope, for there's a deep affection for humanity despite its foibles underlying every sentence." -- F. Paul Wilson

From the Publisher

Alongside Night scored lavish praise for a first novel when it appeared in 1979, winning accolades from luminaries such as the English novelist many consider the greatest of his generation, and the first American to win a Nobel Prize in Economics. Ten years later the Libertarian Futurist Society voted the book into the Prometheus Hall of Fame as a novel embodying the spirit of liberty, alongside Orwell's 1984, Rand's Atlas Shrugged, Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

The last time this novel saw print was in 1987. Finally -- from the vaults -- come the last remaining copies of the autographed first edition of J. Neil Schulman's classic novel of the last and first days of America; available once again. And perhaps this time its prophetic clarion call will be heard ... while there's still a chance.

Numbered and signed biographical sheet tipped in. Limited to 500 numbered, autographed copies of the Crown Publishers first edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 471 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1584451203
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pulpless.Com; First Kindle Edition edition (March 25, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00213JLZ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,687 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First off, most reviewers are describing this book as "libertarian" when it is more accurately described as anarcho-capitalist: the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre *rejects* the notion of being the "one government" for the US in the end.

But that's nitpicking. I'm an AnCap and there's far too little literature out there for me to read, so stumbling across this book many years after it was written was a nice surprise for me (thanks Amazon for your excellent Similarities! Interested readers may want to check out Matthew Alexander's "Withur We" for a very recent AnCap book that would probably interest people that liked this book). The author clearly has an excellent grasp and fondness for AnCap concepts and the book shines the most when he focuses on how the people that have adopted an AnCap lifestyle function and get along.

Unfortunately, there's a couple of complaints about the book. For one, the above part that I liked was too short. In fact, the whole book is too short: nothing really has time to play out in a level of depth that satisfied me. And for a short book, too much of it was spent on things that just weren't that interesting, e.g. the entire raid on Utopia near the end of the book didn't do anything for me. What was the point of the various action scenes? A book that is trying to illustrate how different societal structures influence the resulting society doesn't need to become a Ludlum book for half of it. There really wasn't even a clear message or theme tying the raid into the rest of the book: was there a point to the fact that the raid was only partially successful? Other than perhaps trying to say "even for our 'heroes', not everything ends up exactly the way they want it", I'm not sure there was... and that point could have been in far fewer words.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty far alongside.... April 6, 2009
Back in 1987, a friend gave me a copy of the Avon paperback of "Alongside Night." I read it with great interest.

This novel reminded me a great deal of Robert Heinlein "juveniles" such as "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel." It is a bildungsroman following young Elliot Vreeland as he comes of age in New York City.

In the thirty years since J. Neil Schulman wrote the book, the dollar has been inflated more and more. The government has become larger, more corrupt, and much more like the government portrayed in the book. So, coming of age has gotten more and more difficult.

The great appeal for me in this book was its deliberate depiction of parts of society where government interference is not only gone, but actively prevented from getting involved. Free markets as part of an underground culture where people behaved without coercion had always appealed to me. In this book these markets were shown as real, vibrant, and substantial.

Nor is the future depicted any sort of utopia. There are problems in the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre with abuse of power and authority. There are problems with the government, too, which are far more pernicious. Yet, people manage their affairs and get by. Some thrive. Others suffer and die. Life's rich tapestry.

A decade ago, few would have believed that the monetisation of the government debt was threatening a hyperinflation of the dollar. Today it seems much more likely than ever. Who could have believed General Motors would be nationalised? Or Lehman Brothers and dozens of other companies would go under? Yet, today these are facts.

Alongside Night does an excellent job of showing a troubled world as a place to grow up. It also showcases agorism and individualism in ways never before or since.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flying Alongside Night May 5, 2009
By Thoreau
I bought a paperback of "Alongside Night" about twenty years ago. When I learned it was the Freedom Book Club book of the month for May 2009, I got it out and re-read it. The author, J. Neil Schulman, is amazingly prescient.

One of the things that struck me as unlikely in 1989 was the telecommunications system. Wall-size screens. Interactive tools for getting information. Today, these are common. And to think the book was conceived in 1977 or so. Amazing.

General Motors plaza, in the book, is boarded up. The company is now being restructured, with the United Auto Workers pension to hold about 39% of the company. Chrysler has declared bankruptcy. The economy is not yet in the dire straits described in "Alongside Night," but it is very close. And, as in the book, Americans are responding with verve and elan.

I was delighted to be invited to a Facebook group celebrating this novel, and to learn that it is being adapted to a graphic novel and a feature film. It is high time that someone created a community for practicing agorists where we can meet, discuss, and exchange not only ideas but products and services.

Perhaps the online game being planned will feature "underground" mercantile centers like Aurora as described in the book. The technologies for dropping off the identity-controlled grid are well along. It's going to be fun!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Careless Formatting for Kindle October 15, 2012
By Morris
Format:Kindle Edition
I only read the sample, but that was enough. Absolutely no care went into converting this book to kindle. It is rife with carriage returns that don't belong. Often a line will have only one word. Very annoying. Very sloppy conversion to kindle.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Well paced and engaging but hamfisted and obvious...
As others have noted, the book is a cautionary and dystopian tale of a United States that is in the throes of hyper-inflation and excessive government. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Peter Venetoklis
5.0 out of 5 stars Economic Science Fiction
Economics matters more than politics, in the end. Fascinating speculative fiction about inflation run wild, with a fun portrayal of an agorist community.
Published 1 month ago by Steven White
5.0 out of 5 stars Liberty and laissez faire.
Excellent Libertarian manifesto cum scifi novel.
Published 1 month ago by H. R. Lesly
3.0 out of 5 stars So far so good. The hard part to accept is in the ...
The premise is believable (especially in today's economy and the state of our monetary system). The U.S. Read more
Published 2 months ago by William
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story told from a libertarian perspective
Over the past few years, I have become a fan of fiction written from a libertarian perspective. I recently saw the author of Alongside Night interviewed about the soon to be... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Andy Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fabulous book and a great movie
Published 9 months ago by R. Matheis
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Heed the warning!!!!
Published 9 months ago by LEO
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story, well done.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book but anther edition is better
It's probably the best novel I ever read, but I recommend another edition if you want to read an ebook (called Movie Edition here on amazon). Read it.
Published 10 months ago by matimatik
3.0 out of 5 stars I didn't have time for it
I saw the movie and I find to book just as difficult to follow. I hope you have time to read it if you have the time. I quite reading it...I have better things to do.......
Published 10 months ago by Neal A. Barncard
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More About the Author

J. Neil Schulman is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, whom the Wall Street Journal called a pioneer of electronic publishing His 1979 Prometheus-Hall-of-Fame novel Alongside Night -- endorsed by Milton Friedman, Anthony Burgess, and Ron Paul -- projected the economic meltdown and was Freedom Book of the Month for May, 2009. It's now his his second feature film, shown in theatrical release and about to be released for home and streaming entertainment, following his award-winning comic thriller, Lady Magdalene's, starring Nichelle Nichols, which Schulman wrote, produced, directed, and acted in. His 1983 novel, The Rainbow Cadenza, won the Prometheus Award, was adapted into a Laserium show, and Robert A. Heinlein told the 1983 L-5 Society, "Every libertarian should read it!" Schulman scripted the CBS revived Twilight Zone episode, "Profile in Silver." He taught a graduate course on electronic publishing for The New School, has written for popular magazines and newspapers including National Review, Reason, the Los Angeles Times, and Reader's Digest, and monographs ranging from animal rights, informational property rights, and medicalization of criminology have been widely anthologized by academic presses. His 12 books include Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns, endorsed by Charlton Heston and Dennis Prager, Self Control Not Gun Control endorsed by Walter Williams, and The Robert Heinlein Interview and Other Heinleiniana, which Virginia Heinlein said "should be on the shelves of everyone interested in science fiction." His latest is Unchaining the Human Heart--A Revolutionary Manifesto. He's recipient of the James Madison Award from the Second Amendment Foundation, and on March 16, 2009 Schulman was awarded the Samuel Edward Konkin III Memorial Chauntecleer by the Karl Hess Club, the only previous recipients being Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Wally Conger. Full bio at

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