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Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American Paperback – Unabridged, August 12, 1997

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Editorial Reviews Review

Who says the left wing doesn't have a sense of humor? Maybe it doesn't, but documentarian Michael Moore sure does--Exhibit A was Roger & Me; B was the ill-fated TV Nation; and C is 1997's print skirmish Downsize This! Moore's politics are rabidly liberal, populist, and anti-big business--about what you'd expect from the former editor of Mother Jones. While this restricts his audience to Americans on the left side of the aisle, for them Downsize This! will be a chance to point and laugh hysterically (if ruefully) at the clique of rich white guys who run everything.

Moore is at his best as a prankster, whether it's trying to see if Pat Buchanan will take a campaign donation from the John Wayne Gacy Fan Club (yes) or whether he can have Bob Dornan committed to an insane asylum based on his bizarre behavior (no, but it was close). Moore is one of our sharpest satirists, and Downsize This! makes one wish he would write a "Sorry State of the Union" every year. But only if it doesn't cut into his moviemaking--that's too big a price to pay. --Michael Gerber

From Publishers Weekly

Moore, whose documentary film Roger & Me and television series TV Nation have a strong cult following, takes on corporations, politicians and Americana in general in a mordant satire that will leave both conservatives and liberals reeling with embarrassment. Moore tears into corporations and labor unions alike. Citing "economic terrorism," he goes after the "Big Welfare Mamas"?the CEOs?detailing their cozy tax deals with federal and local government, which have added to the deficit. He attacks the unions in "Why Are Union Leaders So F#!@ing Stupid," citing how they have collaborated with corporations (while taking huge salaries) to slash jobs from their own memberships. No one is immune; Moore scrutinizes the President, Bob Dole, NAFTA, Cuban refugees and Pat Buchanan. A scathing, funny book packed with facts, it will appeal to those who loved Al Franken's Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. Photos. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st HarperPerennial ed edition (August 12, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060977337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060977337
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,510,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Moore is an Academy Award-winning American filmmaker, bestselling author, and liberal political commentator. He is the director and producer of Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Sicko, three of the top five highest-grossing documentaries of all time. In September 2008, he released his first free movie on the Internet, Slacker Uprising, documenting his personal crusade to encourage more Americans to vote in presidential elections. He has also written and starred in the TV shows TV Nation and The Awful Truth. His bestselling books include Dude, Where's My Country and Mike's Election Guide 2008.Moore is a self-described liberal who has explored globalization, large corporations, gun ownership, the Iraq War, U.S. President George W. Bush and the American health care system in his written and cinematic works. In 2005 Time magazine named him one of the world's 100 most influential people. In 2005, Moore started the annual Traverse City Film Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. In 2008, he closed his Manhattan office and moved it to Traverse City, where he is working on his new film.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By K. Bentley on March 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Micahel Moore's book Downsize This! shows the aspects of stupidity in American society. In the political spectrum, he is a liberal, but he is not quick to judge like other documents written by liberals and conservatives alike. Instead, he obviously does a ton of research and observes the patterns of politics and big business. He manages to pojnt out the shocking similarities between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, and denounces both of them as alike, and givespretty good reasons on why half the population doesn't take part in presidential elections. His views on abortion, though comical in some sense, surprisingly make a lot of sense

Along with a satirical sense of honesty, Moore also throws in some very humorous commentary, like new and improved ways to vote for the President, and several jabs at certain politicians and corporations, especially a certain corporation he attacked in his documentary Roger and Me.

To read this book, an open mind is recommended. Moore's sharp wit and sense of being accurate, in most cases, may be too much for some to handle. This is obviously not a book for everyone, though I know many detractors and admirers on all sides of the political spectrum.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By D. Bakken on February 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
pa·tri·ot·ic (ptr-tk) adj. --- Feeling, expressing, or inspired by love for one's country.
source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition - Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Look it up in any dictionary and you will get a similar definition. Notice it doesn't say anything about staying silent and never openly showing dissent towards your government. That's because our country was founded on the belief that we have the freedom of expression along with other freedoms...
Anyway, for those who actually want to READ the book, here are some of my thoughts on it.
Michael Moore, for those unfamiliar, is a one of todays most outspoken mainstream progressives. A die-hard supporter of Nader and the Green party, Moore is most well known for TV Nation and the indie movie "Roger and Me."
In "Downsize This," Moore takes on the both Democrats and Republicans in hilarious essays that will make you laugh while you growing angry. He also takes on that bane of Democracy: Large, rich corporations.
The best essay in the book is "Would Pat Buchanan Take a Check From Satan?" In it, Moore takes an old political trick from Buchanan's days with Nixon and uses it against Mr. Buchanan. According to Moore, Buchanan cashed checks from "The John Wayne Gacy Fan Club," (famous serial killer) and "Abortionists for Buchanan." Pat still hasn't cashed the Satan one yet.
Look for Moore's new book - "Stupid White Men...." It was nearly banned and destroyed because he dared criticize the President.
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86 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Josh Dougherty on May 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is hilarious. I particularly like the chapter where he tries to get Bob Dornan commited, a riot. This book is a bit dated by now, but most of it still applies, unfortunately. His writing on corporate welfare and the way our government gives out 'payoffs for layoffs' to rich corporations is on point. Nothing has changed.
Moore sticks it to democrats and republicans in this book, (he opts for the term "republicrats") but his brand of humor and truth really seems to get on conservatives' last nerve. ...which is all the better.
You can see some of their silly reactionary replies here. Like Ryan Setliff from Lynchburg, VA who titles his review "For those who think a Job is a Right." He says: "They hold to a Marxist view that a job and economic security is an inherent right." Well, what's so humorous about this is not only the idea that Ryan would seemingly rather live in a country where the people can't get jobs and are economically insecure, but that it turns out that a job and economic security *ARE* actually basic and fundamental human rights.
Under the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt, The "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" was adopted by the United Nations in 1948 and ratified by the United States. This document is basically the standard on which basic human rights are measured throughout the world, and it declares what we as individuals, and our governments, shall strive for in the modern world. Let's take a look at Article 23 of the UDHR shall we?:
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
Read more ›
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By isala on February 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was ill in bed and my wife bought Downsize this to cheer me up. I read it in less than a day. The book is hilarious, and Michael Moore has his facts right. His thesis throughout the book, and indeed throughout his early production, is that big corporations must stop accept government money and then fire most of their workforceto increase their already immense profits. He connects corporate greed to racism and corrupt politicians. His piece on congressman Robert Dornan is just superb! For me as a European this open corruption and greed in politicians in the USA is strange. Of course our politicians also lie and are corrupt, but they are a bit more discrete about it. And many of them are caught and forced to resign. We do not have this worship of Big Business.
At times the book becomes a bit rambling, but I can forgive that.
I hope more people will read and understand this book, and then go out and vote.
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