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If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates, Revised Edition Paperback – Bargain Price, February 20, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Revised edition (February 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060932090
  • ASIN: B000C4T0AA
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,452,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Liberal populist Jim Hightower has a knack for naming books; before If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote... came There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. Even the chapter titles of the current volume reveal Hightower's way with words as well as they underscore his themes: "Some Say We Need a Third Party, I Wish We Had a Second One" and "Plutocracy Is Not Government by a Far-Off Planet." Hightower speaks for angry, disaffected Americans who view both Democrats and Republicans as sleazy money-grubbers who do the bidding of wealthy multinational corporations. He is one of the sharpest voices on the Left, and also a very funny one. Even right-wingers will find themselves laughing at some of his jokes, and the Pat Buchanan set may see a few points of agreement. Ultimately, though, If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote... isn't a book for conservatives, but for liberals who feel that not even the Democratic Party can represent them in the era of Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Hightower's enthusiasm is contagious: "Hey, let's gut it up, decamp from Washington, put our resources in the countryside, slug the corporate bastards right in the snout, and get it on with a grassroots politics that gives regular folks a reason to be excited and get involved." Readers already inclined toward these views will be eager to join Hightower's crusade by the time they finish his energetic book. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

With a disarmingly folksy charm, writer and former Texas agriculture commissioner Hightower skewers George W. Bush, Al Gore, America's moneyed interests, the presidential selection process, corporate greed, the corruption of the political process by big money, the wage gap, globalization, and a whole lot more. Part critique of the corruption of American life and politics, part Populist manifesto, this sometimes witty, often irreverent, on-target book offers readers a welcome respite from the more mundane, mainstream accounts of contemporary politics. Outspokenness of this sort can seem harsh, angry, and abrasive--and Hightower is indeed angry. But his is an anger fused with wit and insight that draws readers in instead of pushing them away. This valuable contribution will offend, entertain, and enlighten. For public and academic libraries.
---Michael A. Genovese, Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

If you read only one political book, read this one.
Adam F. Jewell
Jim Hightower makes a compelling argument for the need in America for the return of an activist Populist movement.
Dave
Very serious, but with an offset of humor that tickles the funny bone.
Charles H. Jamieson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Travis A. Clark on February 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
His lips move. Or so the old joke goes. Hightower is back, and he's as rambunctious as ever. Where his previous book, Yellow Lines, was a collection of rants about the Republicrats and their ineffective politics, Gods is about the Republicrats and their ineffective politi... oops. But there is a difference. This takes the electoral process apart piece by piece, and shows exactly how those thieves fund themselves, and how they can speak from both sides and feel good about themselves when they wake up the next morning. The most poignant point he made in the book is that the election is already over, the politics are the same, now we just choose the personality that we want, His Majesty George W., or VP Al. Good read, funny, and definitely worth the money.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ronald P. Ruggiero on February 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put this book down. Hightower is a master at making us laugh and get po'ed at the same time. He shines a big Texan flashlight on the follies of the spoiled rich, the corporate lap-dog politicians, and the insanity of the "Market". This is a must-read for the 2000 electoral cycle. His call to arms echoed my own sentiments--it is time for us to remember Paine, Jefferson, Mother Jones, Debs, King, Chavez, and the rest of our nation's agitators and reclaim our dignity and our democracy. It is time for a top-down (not a left-right) political debate on what's happening in our country and throughout the world. Thanks Jim for an engaging and just plain good book.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Paul Hickey on April 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who's already tired of the year 2000 general election campaign of Shrub Dubya and Al Snore (and who isn't?), Jim Hightower's new book will come as a breath of fresh air.
"If the Gods Had Meant for Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates" is an ambitious sequel to "There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos." In clear, concise prose (despite what you may think from the long-winded title), Hightower seeks to analyze just why our political system has failed to provide the kind of real choice that voters crave in the race for president. More importantly, Hightower suggests things that average citizens can do to win back their voice in government at the local (and even national) level.
Not surprisingly for a self-proclaimed populist, Hightower identifies the concentration of corporate power and the influence of money as ranking among the primary reasons why Democratic and Republican politicians so rarely seem to represent the interests of the middle class and the working poor. In Hightower's view, both parties are equally corrupt, and this even-handed contempt for the status quo spurs him onward in the search for "authentic" alternatives. First, however, he sets the stage by challenging the conventional wisdom of the mainstream media, in particular the commonly held assumption that the country is enjoying an age of unprecedented prosperity. "If the Gods..." is chock-full of statistics that make a good case for disproving that claim. Indeed, Hightower notes that "25 percent of the jobs in today's celebrated economy pay a poverty wage! That's 32 million people." By and large, most of his facts and figures are attributed to respectable sources.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By J. Higgins on February 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hightower is a stinkin' genius. This book is a must-read during this vacuous media-spectacle of an election year that we're all suffering through. He exposes the political big shots and boneheads for what they are, and tops it all off with encouraging stories about real folks at the grassroots who are working to take back our democracy. Power to the people!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Charles H. Jamieson on February 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For anyone concerned about the drift of present day politics, this is must reading. Very serious, but with an offset of humor that tickles the funny bone. You have to laugh to keep from crying! Recommended for anyone who intends to vote in the Presidential election of 2000, and a reminder to those who don't vote. They should. The system will only change if the voting public demands it. Pray for the Republic, but vote your convictions. Enjoy Hightower's investigative reporting. He tells it like it is.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By cr8tr on February 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've read lots of books on politics before but none like this one. I don't know of anyone who could read this book and not be affected by it - better yet, come away feeling they need to get involved. Hightower's humor is fantastic but I wasn't laughing, it's too hard while gritting your teeth. Remember all those bad things your parents told you about politics? If Hightower's facts are right then things are a lot worse than my Momma told me.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Philippe Dambournet on February 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Why is a 90-year old woman walking across America? Find out in the chapter on "Granny D", America's heroic campaign-finance reform activist. By rights, she should receive the public homage of John McCain when she arrives in Washington, D.C. in the coming weeks.
And why is Tom DeLay - the "bug man", as Hightower calls him - one of the most despicable politicians in the country? Find out in the chapter on Saipan, an island in the Mariannas where, in what is nominally US territory, thousands of Asian workers are being held as quasi-slaves in garment factories run by crooked foreign businessmen for the benefit of US apparel companies, with the unwavering support of the Majority Whip of the House of Representatives.
In this explosive book by the well-known Texan agitator, both heroes and villains are grist for his contention that what is at stake in America today is nothing less than democracy, under constant attack from corporate interests and their clients in the political world. But far from merely bemoaning this wretched state of affairs, Hightower shows the citizens of America how they should resist the creeping abrogation of their political, social, and economic rights.
The French (whose help, after all, was critical in winning the war of independence) have their own way of putting this in their national anthem, which dates back to the French Revolution: "Aux armes, citoyens!" - "Citizens, take up arms!"
As the Republic enters its third century looking increasingly like the thirteen States before they rebelled against their unelected masters overseas, Jim Hightower writes like its colorful, twangy, latter-day Tom Paine. This is a call to arms for American democracy - we may ignore it, but only at our own peril.
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