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3.6 out of 5 stars
How to Overthrow the Government
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2000
This book is mistitled. It should be renamed "The Case For Overthrowing the Government".
Ms. Huffington spends 11 out of 12 chapters building her case for why the system is broke and only deals with the "How To" aspect in her 12th chapter, devoting little more than scant attention to it. The blueprint that emerges from that last chapter is rather unfocused and seems to be a call more for volunteerism than a call for a political revolution. The groups and entities listed in the book's appendices are far more tilted to volunteerism than political change.
If you are a disaffected rebel, forget this book. You already know the system is broken and corrupted. If you are an activist, you are probably already involved in a few of the volunteer groups that Arianna names. If you are a conservative, this book will be a disappointment if you thought Ms. Huffington was a conservative.
My hope was that this book would provide the framework for kicking off a political revolution for campaign finance and influence peddling reform. One would think reading 11/12ths of the book, she was moving in that direction. Then when you get to the end, it all seems to fizzle away.
Maybe her ulitimate message in this book is "Figure it out yourself and do it on your own".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2001
I learned a lot from this book. I think Arianna Huffington is a very good writer, she's very knowledgeable and brings a lot of wit and humor to her work. For material such as her weekly columns, I think this is the perfect blend...but many times during this book I found that frustrating.
Passages throughout the book are interjected with jokes as if they were also part of the story. I think in a newspaper medium a columnist can do well to bring a little humor to make it more entertaining. But when I'm reading a book you can assume that you have already my interest and proceed with the work. Moreover, it seems some chapters were needlessly dragged out. Although many of her examples of dubious deeds by our politicians are valid, I felt that this eventually became an attempt to flesh this book out and fill up to something significant (talking pages here). I think all of her points were significant, but the first few examples are pertinent enough. Lastly, I agree to some degree that the title of this book is a bit more radical then it's contents. Yet, she is serious about change and spends some time discussing how we can go about it (albeit much later in the book, and in a very practical manner).
It must be said that I appreciate the sincerity that Arianna Huffington brings to her work. I'm pleased to see that she doesn't cover up for anyone and I can appreciate how hard that could be in her position as a syndicated columnist. As someone that has been reading a lot of Chomsky, I wasn't expecting some of the honesty that's been mentioned here. This is a book that deserves to be read. 3 stars for me is a must read (think, library people). 4 is a buy. 5 is something I send out to friends. I hope that gives some context.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2000
The thing that people miss is that ACTIONS are what is key to any kind of change. Even the littlest of actions.
Arianna, I commend you for confronting, exposing, and bringing public many of the out-ethics of our government today. Taking responsibility for our actions is what will make this world a better place - something our government and some of the major companies of the world don't seem to look at.
Education of the public is key to any kind of reform. We've become a society that has become so overwhelmed with what is wrong with the world, we discredit that our one little voice will not do anything. Wrong. You do have a voice.
This book is very educational. The truth is out there. It is up to you to do something about it, or contribute to the decline of the world by sitting on the sidelines and not doing anything about it.
This book and many like this is so vital to people understanding what is really going on out there. Unless you really look at what is there, you will never see it until it's too late.
I recommend this book highly if you are interested in learning about what really goes on that the public does not know about.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2000
As a life-long Democrat recently finding myself turning more and more "Green" the closer to "Crone-hood" I get, I found myself moved to tears,hissing, and cheers as I read Ms. Huffington's call to action. This book shouldn't take more than a day's worth of reading, but should inspire all of us to give more than a passing nod to the concept of practicing what we preach. We should all heed her call, stop being victims of this corrupted system, and take back control over our own lives. As Horace Mann once said, "Be ashamed to die until you have done something good for humanity." Arianna Huffington surely has. What have YOU done, lately?
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2000
As we come to the close of the 21st Century, I have the pleasure to share with you a list of books that were unique in the 21st Century. The ciriteria for choosing these books are the following: the book must both be an example of illumination and information; the book should have been written with graciousness and style; it must have involved the weaving together of disparate stories into an effective voice inspiring action; it must have been written with humor as well as with honest appraisal and constructive criticism; one should still be able to curl up with this book by a warming fire, by a lake following a picnic, or in a botanical garden as one rests from the oppressive heat of summer; it should have taken its place among the great books produced at the end of the 20th Century, such as the global reports written by Brundtland ("Our Common Future") and the Commission on Global Governance, "Our Common Neighborhood".
What book tops the list? Well, none of us remember back to when it was written, just at the dawn of the 21st Century, but go to your library and find Arianna Huffington's future-oriented "How to Overthrow the Government".
Arianna was one of the seminal thinkers of our 21st Century, a woman of grace, poise and dignity, able to speak and think on her feet and comprehensively, able to articulate her ideas and give positive examples of how to emulate heroic action, and where the action could have been more positive, how that leap into higher consciousness could be achieved.
The quest for leadership is a thread that runs consistently through "How to Overthrow Government". The book really only deals with the political system in the United States, and how the ordinary person was encouraged and exhorted time and again to change the system by positive, personal action.
While written from this viewpoint of encouraging the individual to become a better citizen, the text never becomes didactic or simply a diatribe on how the author THINKS people should change. Her grasp of history comes upon the reader in a second, her insights like lightning bolts that make one pause and re-examine the reader's own sense of history.
At the conclusion of the book, the author provides organizational contacts that give the reader a menu of options for volunteer work or from which more information could be gained on some of the topics covered in the book.
The author, as it turned out, became the first woman chosen unanimously as Secretary-General of the United Nations some years following the issuance of this book. In the end, the UN Member States realized the value of the author's words, as did the millions of amazon.com readers who chose to buy the book as well!
It is unfortunate that no other books appear on this list of most influential books of the 21st Century. I suppose everyone just decided to take the author's words to heart and went out and changed government positively, one by one.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2003
When I pick up a book by a political columnist I expected to read a longer version of their columns. I like these authors' columns, therefore, I was hoping for basically a 300-page column of new material. For the first third of the book this is exactly what I got. She was smart, sassy, and indignant, all the things that make her column worth reading. The book moved as fast as a book can. Unfortunately, she turned into a social working crusader in the middle of the book talking about children and anti-depressants, volunteer groups and consumer debt levels. I felt this section dragged, not so much because of a drop off in the writing, it was just not want I wanted, I prefer preaching to take place on Sundays. The last section of the book returned to the spit and vinegar the author is known for.
With that one complaint aside she does offer up the wit and one liners that made her semi famous. She goes after them all, Republicans, Democrats and anybody else the falls into her crosshairs. Another interesting bit was that she might have been the first one on the Trent Lott racial problems detailing out some of his issues before the latest flair up. Overall the book is an interesting and humorous book designed to offer up some entertainment and get you to think a bit. As long as you approach it with this understanding you should be entertained.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2000
As we come to the close of the 21st Century, I have the pleasure to share with you a list of books that were unique in the 21st Century. The ciriteria for choosing these books are the following: the book must both be an example of illumination and information; the book should have been written with graciousness and style; it must have involved the weaving together of disparate stories into an effective voice inspiring action; it must have been written with humor as well as with honest appraisal and constructive criticism; one should still be able to curl up with this book by a warming fire, by a lake following a picnic, or in a botanical garden as one rests from the oppressive heat of summer; it should have taken its place among the great books produced at the end of the 20th Century, such as the global reports written by Brundtland ("Our Common Future") and the Commission on Global Governance, "Our Common Neighborhood".
What book tops the list? Well, none of us remember back to when it was written, just at the dawn of the 21st Century, but go to your library and find Arianna Huffington's future-oriented "How to Overthrow the Government".
Arianna was one of the seminal thinkers of our 21st Century, a woman of grace, poise and dignity, able to speak and think on her feet and comprehensively, able to articulate her ideas and give positive examples of how to emulate heroic action, and where the action could have been more positive, how that leap into higher consciousness could be achieved.
The quest for leadership is a thread that runs consistently through "How to Overthrow Government". The book really only deals with the political system in the United States, and how the ordinary person was encouraged and exhorted time and again to change the system by positive, personal action.
While written from this viewpoint of encouraging the individual to become a better citizen, the text never becomes didactic or simply a diatribe on how the author THINKS people should change. Her grasp of history comes upon the reader in a second, her insights like lightning bolts that make one pause and re-examine the reader's own sense of history.
At the conclusion of the book, the author provides organizational contacts that give the reader a menu of options for volunteer work or from which more information could be gained on some of the topics covered in the book.
The author, as it turned out, became the first woman chosen unanimously as Secretary-General of the United Nations some years following the issuance of this book. In the end, the UN Member States realized the value of the author's words, as did the millions of amazon.com readers who chose to buy the book as well!
It is unfortunate that no other books appear on this list of most influential books of the 21st Century. I suppose everyone just decided to take the author's words to heart and went out and changed government positively, one by one.
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on August 2, 2000
I had no idea who Huffington until I picked up this book with its provocative title. I had become totally disgusted with politics after watching politicians (especially Al Gore) falling over themselves to pander to the Cuban exile community here in Florida during the Elian Gonzales spectacle. Frankly, I was considering never voting again as I just did not want to be tainted by these sleazeballs who do nothing but suck up to anyone (corporations or exile groups) willing to give them money. Huffington's book was picked up in a moment of disgust and cynicism. I found it to be like a breath of fresh air. She spells the problems out clearly, takes no prisoners, offers solutions that are workable and made feel as if I was not alone in my thinking. I like her saucy approach. She has guts, heart, and brains. I hope she tries to run for office again. If she were running in Florida, I would actually get off my duff and go down to the polling booth to vote for her - without the feeling that I needed to have a clothespin on my nose while I did so.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2001
This book is an excellent read and pulls no punches. It is a "call to arms" for any responsible citizen. I disagree with "A Reader's" review. Huffington offers many solutions to the problems discussed in this book. If you think for even a moment that government can be made better, this is a book for you. Oh, and did you notice? "A Reader" chose to stay anonymous and is from HOLLYWOOD!
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on October 5, 2001
This book is an excellent read and pulls no punches. It is a "call to arms" for any responsible citizen. I disagree with "A Reader's" review. Huffington offers many solutions to the problems discussed in this book. If you think for even a moment that government can be made better, this is a book for you. Oh, and did you notice? "A Reader" chose to stay anonymous and is from HOLLYWOOD!
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