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on December 9, 1999
This is a book that will change your outlook on life in America. It is the plea of one man, crying out against the sytematic infiltration of corporate power and greed into every area of life. In this courageous work, Gerry Spence takes on what he calls, the "oligarchical" power of the corporate world, exposing its manipulation of even our most personal beliefs. On issues from the environment, police brutality, polital corruption and homelessness, to the dominating influence that this power has on the individual level, he leaves no stone unturned in his search for justice in America. Anyone who is interested in the social problems of our country will find this book a great source of knowledge, insight, and even outrage. This book simply asks the reader to look at American society as it is, not as it was taught to many of us in public school, and then think about how these problems can be overcome.
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on January 17, 2005
This is my 2nd book by Gerry Spence. I am changing my views & opinions about our so-called "legal system", about lawyers, about political parties. As the song says, "I've quit those days & my redneck ways". Gerry is likely a liberal & I'm a conservative yet I agree with 90% of what he brings out. I prefer learning from someone with real-world experience instead of theoretical academia which I have discovered is out-of-touch with reality in my 56 years: that is; professors commenting on other professors commenting on other professors.

In my time, I've always known something was seriously wrong with our great country but couldn't put my finger on it. Like most folks, I thought it was those "blood sucking parasite politicians". With facts (not opinion) and specific cases (not speculation), Gerry shows this euphoric bubble we are all in -- that we THINK is "democracy". It's not good enough to wrap ourselves in the American flag and say "at least we're better than Angola". We love our constitution and bill-of-rights unfortunately now, America is not "of, for, & by the people" except on 4th of July and during election time.

Like a cruise missile that homes in on its target, Gerry clearly pinpoints the issues, draws contrasts, and offers solutions (which we thought were just "political").

Okay, we have GROWN UP and we're big boys & girls: we need to also WISE UP and stop trashing folks because we disagree with them 10% of the time. The only person you will be in agreement with 100% is yourself - and I've discovered that people's "assumer" is wrong 90% of the time.

This book is of mature subject so if you're seeking "rainbows in the sky & children singing in the fields", then go look at the Sunday comic section.
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on July 26, 2001
I picked up this book because I was interested in the Randy Weaver trial. Spence, the author of the book, was Randy Weaver�s defense counsel and was successful in getting his client acquitted on the basically made up charges leveled against him by the government who murdered his 10-year old son and his wife following a botched operation in Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1992. I expected to get a ground-level view of this trial and the lengths to which the government will go to impose its will on the citizens it is supposed to serve and not rule.
The first two chapters of the book were indeed about the trail and how Spence systematically dismantled the government's ridiculous position despite the usual dirty tricks, lies and other blatantly illegal conduct that we have seen from our law enforcement agencies since in the Waco and Timothy McVeigh trials. Following this brief summary of the trail Spence then embarks on a lengthy and flowery dissertation on how we as humans have lost our freedoms to our lifestyles, corporate greed, time and other often existential concepts.
I do not disagree with any of his opinions; I think he is right on target with his evaluations but I found myself wondering as I read if he was trying to make a point or if he was just trying impress me with his ability to write in flowery, elegant prose. There is no doubt that he is capable of describing concepts in an elegant, dreamlike fashion but I was looking for more of a head on examination of the subject of the state of our freedoms and the tyranny of the government and the corporate mindset in this country.
Spence goes to great lengths to passionately describe the problems as he sees them but he offers few if any real solutions. The few solutions he offers are as ethereal and rhetorical as his prose and they left me completely unsatisfied. I was sincerely hoping that as a lawyer who has seen the evil of corruption up close he would have some sound advice, but he does not (or at least he does not share with the reader). This had the unsettling effect of getting the news from a specialist that yes, you do indeed have cancer, but then, instead of giving you some hope or advice on how to treat the disease, he just smiles sadly and nods his head.
If you are looking for a thought provoking look at the illusion and reality of freedom in life by all means read this book. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something less rhetorical and more practical then this book will undoubtedly leave you wanting as it did me.
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on April 24, 1999
Mr. Spence states eloquently that the biggest threat to our freedom comes from our willingness as a people to accept limits, laws and controls that provide us with the illusion of safety when in reality they should terrify us. This is an important book. Like another reviewer, I bought copies for friends.
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on December 31, 1996
In writing this book, Gerry Spence has revealed a good part of
what makes him one of the winningest trial lawyers in the
nation.

His views range from cynical or reverent in his no-holds-barred
examination of his experiences with U.S. justice. He knows
what is good about the country but holds nothing back when he
feels a part of our system is flawed and injust.

Reading the book, I could tell how he became so successful. His
ability to relate his pathos and sense of justice to his
audience is first-rate, and his committment to justice for his
clients is surely unparalleled in modern times.
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on January 17, 2000
If anyone is going into law, they need to read this book. If anyone cares about justice, they need to read this book. If good writing and profound insight means anything to you, read this book. It's impossible not to be inspired by Gerry's honesty and courage and hope. Of all the books I have read to date by Gerry (Making of a Country Lawyer, Give Me Liberty, How To Argue and Win) - and they are all good - I still think Freedom To Slavery is the best. Great to read. You'll want to change the world (again).
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on July 26, 2001
I certainly agree with all of the other reviewers! This was the first book of Gerry's that I read and thereafter purchased and read all of the others except for two, which I plan to read very soon. I always enjoyed his commentary on TV and was familiar with his famous cases but really became a fan through his books. His writing style is so compelling and honest that you just can't put his books down. This should be required reading in our schools and yes, it does make you want to change our world again! All of his books are wonderful and I recommend all of them highly! A warning, it also may scare you when you realize how far and how fast tyranny has "progressed" in our generation! Most frustrating is the "dumbing of America" and knowing most people will never read a book like this. If you value your freedom and are tired of all the gossip, fluff and nonsense and want to think again, get this book!!
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Mr. Spence writes as a modern-day Eugene V. Debs reinforcing the truth that we must lead ourselves to real freedom and democracy. He delivers a piercing attack on American society and forces us all to think long and hard about our, and our children's, future in the Age of the Corporate-run World. We he crowned a New KIng and aren't even aware of it. It is immensely readable and does not fall into the wordy ramblings of many political works. After reading, I bought extra copies for friends! Well worth it!
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on June 26, 2002
The Country lawyer from Wyoming explains clearly that we have all returned to slavery. We have become the worst kind of slaves - those that believe they are free.
In fact, we all slave to support the New King - the non-breathers, the corporations. He points out that nearly every aspect of our lives are controlled by nameless, faceless, soulless, greedy, cold, corporations. Although he neglects to mention that the United States of America is also a corporation, I am sure he suspects that most of his readers are acutely aware of the fact.
We have been duped, dumbed-down, and brainwashed into believing that we are free, when nothing can be further from the truth.
His cynicism of our justice system is well supported and one cannot help but agree with his conclusions regarding the badly broken system.
His writing is poetic and heart-felt. The book opens and closes with personal letters that he has written or received. These touching letters capture the essence of the man and his love of mankind. His passion for justice is contagious. His honesty, intellect, and candor explain his stellar court record and leave one wishing that in time of need, an attorney like Gerry Spence might appear. Unfortunately, we have even less hope of good men like Mr. Spence appearing than we do of regaining freedom in this country.
While I do not share all of his "tree-hugging" ideals, I was moved by some of his suggestions, and found his Indian references extraordinary.
This book can truly offer sound advise to libertarians, and Patriots everywhere.
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on April 11, 2008
If you are looking for any insight from the author into his association with Randy Weaver you will be sorely disappointed. There was very little written with respect to Weaver. Most of what was included in this book I have read in other publications. If interested try, Every Knee Shall Bow, by Jess Walter, or, Ambush at Ruby Ridge, by Alan Bock.

Gerry Spence is like a kindly old grandfather type. Full of sage advice and wisdom that is perhaps best understood in light of his rustic background. At times powerful and dynamic, at other times pompous and imperfect. I found myself reading aloud to my family some very enlightened and impactful prose. Other times I found myself laughing at his sophmoric attempts at analogy.

Overall, I have enjoyed reading this fine book. The author makes some very intriguing points with respect to the condition of humanity at the end of the 21st century. However, I found his writing style to be irritating and bizarre at times. Like many old timers full of wisdom, fun to listen to, as long as you take him with a grain of salt.
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