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Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries Paperback – September 16, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Give Me Liberty is a splendid introduction to the historical meaning of American citizenship -- and the challenge of sustaining its promise in a new century." -- Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University

"[A] primer on how to become a citizen activist" -- Suki Casanave, The Washington Post

"A passionate, practical guidebook to reclaiming and reinvigorating participatory democracy." -- Dennis J. Seese, Library Journal

About the Author

Naomi Wolf made a sensation with her landmark international bestseller The Beauty Myth in 1991. The author of four books, she is also the cofounder and president of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416590560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416590569
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Naomi Wolf was born in San Francisco in 1962. She was an undergraduate at Yale University and did her graduate work at New College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Her essays have appeared in various publications including: The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She also speaks widely to groups across the country.

The Beauty Myth, her first book, was an international bestseller. She followed that with Fire With Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change The 21st Century, published by Random House in 1993, and Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood, published in 1997. Misconceptions, released in 2001, is a powerful and passionate critique of pregnancy and birth in America.

In fall 2002, Harper Collins published a 10th anniversary commemorative edition of The Beauty Myth. In May of 2005, Ms. Wolf released The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom from my Father on How to Live, Love and See. The End of America, published in September 2007 by Chelsea Green, is Naomi's latest book.

Naomi Wolf is co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization devoted to training young women in ethical leadership for the 21st century. The institute teaches professional development in the arts and media, politics and law, business and entrepreneurship as well as ethical decision making.

She lives with her family in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is about time that the subject of liberty, justice, and the silenced American Rebel was brought to public consciousness and discussion in this way. Many Americans are longing for a restored understanding of what true democracy looks like and means, and in this book, Wolf persuasively shows what can happen when normal people, ordinary citizens like you and I, truly engage in the democratic process as originally intended, and how we can use the system in every aspect of our lives and politics. I highly recommend this book for a clear, well thought out, intelligent approach to key issues facing our government and governance today.
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Format: Paperback
I read Give Me Liberty cover to cover in one sitting. It's scary. We should all be very concerned about the increasing loss of American liberties Naomi Wolf so eloquently writes about. Raising awareness is the first step and Wolf did this beautifully in the best-selling The End of America. What makes Give Me Liberty different and even more powerful is that while it reminds Americans that we are in a precarious political moment, it also reminds us that all of us - you, me, the next door neighbor, our teachers, our students, our mothers and fathers - the everyday citizens going about our lives are powerful and influential agents that can, and should take action. Wolf writes, "history shows that when an army of citizens, supported by even a vestige of civil society, believes in liberty -- in the psychological space that is "America" -- no power on earth can ultimately suppress them."

What I loved best about Give Me Liberty is that it shook me out of my apathy and motivated me to believe again not only in the psychological space that is America, but in the idea that I could actually do something to protect my own freedom and the freedom of the people I love. Wolf's book is timely. It is engaging. It is passionate and it is mandatory reading for every citizen who cares about America and considers themselves a patriot. We need to reestablish our civil society based in liberty immediately and Wolf clearly shows us, step by step, how to do this. This book - this call to arms - should be a staple in our schools and required reading for every American citizen.
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Format: Paperback
"Handbook" is a good description. After making a convincing argument that it is our duty to make some noise and get involved, Wolf gives specific advice and resources to have our voices heard. One thing lacking is addressing the importance to really be informed. It appears to me that the people who know the least are the ones who talk the most and have the strongest opinions. Emotions run high and it is hard to have productive deliberation with people. Addressing this would have added an important element to the conversation.

It is scary to me that most people I talk to are willing to accept our government's lawlessness because they somehow think that it secures their safety. After reading this book I have a firmer belief and understanding of the meaning of rule of law and why our safety lies within the rules instead of the rulers.

Wolf outlines how to be a revolutionary in ways that may land you in jail and therefore gives advice for what to do if you are arrested. I don't think I will be taking to the streets in protests, but I am much more motivated to understand our constitution and become more involved in understanding what my representatives are doing in Washington. If government knows that "we the people" are watching closely, it will probably generate better behavior in government. Even though I am not willing be a revolutionary to the extent that would risk imprisonment, this book has motivated me to get off my duff and at least be present.
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Ms. Wolf has a knack for being ahead of the crowd and with this book, she maintains her position in the vanguard of American political activists.

This work, coupled with her last book, are an effective call to arms for Americans to act aggressively and effectively as citizens who are frustrated with the past 20-30 years trend in American political life. Citizens in a democracy have the responsibility to act and participate in the civic discourse and Ms. Wolf challenges all of us take this responsibility seriously. This would be a great book for high school and college students as well as adults.

And instead of a mere rehash of the usual liberal complaints, Ms. Wolf nails the real issues on the head and then gives the reader a full menu of options and activities. At their core, her recent works send the message that the clock is ticking on saving the American Experiment and that it is high time that citizens take back their government by action. The time for complaining are over. It is time for civic action, action that works and that has results. And that is what Ms. Wolf lays out effectively in this new book.

She has given us a much-needed practical and down-to-earth read on the situation that faces us as Americans. And Ms. Wolf has provided us with a civics lesson (when was the last time you heard civics being taught in school?) about our responsibility to act. Not our responsibility to complain and grumble, but our responsibility to act.
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