Most helpful critical review
on October 14, 2008
I found this book a mixed bag. Mr. Moore is, IMO, better at making films than writing books. His willingness to confront people is more interesting than the smarmy tone of his writing.
The first chapter, 'Ask Mike' was mostly silly, consisting of straw man questions to which Mike provides occasionally amusing responses. It was bad enough that had the theme continued into the next chapter I would have given up.
Fortunately, Mike gets into gear with the Chapter 2 'How to Elect John McCain . . . ' in which he excoriates the Democrats for past weaknesses that, if continued, will lead to yet another defeat. Points well taken.
That said, the third chapter assumes an Obama victory and sets out 'Ten Presidential Decrees for His First Ten Days'. These are an admixture of some of Moore's more radical ideas -- 'Anyone Who Tries to Make a Profit From Healthcare Will Be Arrested' and some genuine goofiness -- 'Free HBO for Everyone!' Sprinkled throughout are a few decent suggestions, e.g., have the rich pay more in taxes like they did after the New Deal and before Reagan.
Chapter 4, is, IMO, the best one in the book. Titled, 'Six Modest Proposals to Fix Our Broken Elections' it offers a rather concise overview of how to improve the process. #2 pencil anyone?
Chapter 5 will definitely rile up some folks. Moore would like to see ALL of the crimes committed over the past eight years by members of Bush the administration adjudicated by the courts. He reprints the Articles of Impeachment submitted by Rep. Dennis Kucinich as an overview of those crimes and suggests a massive "perp walk" of the accused immediately after Obama is sworn in. Good luck with that; between a sadly politicized judiciary, the 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card that most politicians seem to keep in their wallet and historical precedent, it ain't likely to happen, even though it really should.
The final chapter deals with who to elect from individual states. Helpful if your state is included. Otherwise . . . inside baseball.
The appendices are somewhat sketchy but the first one is quite amusing. Moore subjects himself to the theatre that is right-wing media whenever he launches a new project. He helpfully provides them a guide to quoting him out of context, e.g., " . . . the terrorists . . . are my friends . . ." while demanding he explain himself (while they constantly interrupt) because he knows that's exactly what will happen with those intellectual/moral fools/tools.
So, in sum, a mixed bag. My election prediction? Afterwards, used copies of this book will be readily available here at Amazon for $.01. Plus $3.99 for shipping via Media Mail.