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Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse Paperback – April 7, 2009

1,861 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Coming Collapse Series

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

America faces a full-scale socioeconomic collapse in the near future. The stock market plummets, hyperinflation cripples commerce and the mounting crisis passes the tipping point. Practically overnight, the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure fall, and wholesale rioting and looting grip every major city

As hordes of refugees and looters pour out of the cities, a small group of friends living in the Midwest desperately tries to make their way to a safe-haven ranch in northern Idaho. The journey requires all their skill and training since communication, commerce, transportation and law enforcement have all disappeared. Once at the ranch, the group fends off vicious attacks from outsiders and then looks to join other groups that are trying to restore true Constitutional law to the country.

Patriots is a thrilling narrative depicting fictional characters using authentic survivalist techniques to endure the collapse of the American civilization. Reading this compelling, fast-paced novel could one day mean the difference between life and death.

About the Author

James Wesley Rawles has been an enthusiastic survivalist since his teenage years. He is now a survivalist author and lecturer and the editor of He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Jose State University with minor degrees in military science, history, and military history. A former U.S. Army intelligence officer who held a Top Secret security clearance (with Special Background Investigation) and access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), he was awarded Officer specialty 35A (tactical all-source intelligence officer), and the additional skill identifier 5M (electronic warfare officer). He achieved the rank of Captain, attended the Army NBC defense officer's course, as well as Northern Warfare School at Fort Greeley, Alaska.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press; 4th Expanded edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156975599X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569755990
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,861 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Wesley, Rawles is a internationally recognized authority on family disaster preparedness and survivalism. He has been described by journalists as the "conscience of survivalism." Formerly a U.S. Army intelligence officer, Rawles is now a fiction and nonfiction author, as well as a rancher. His books have been translated into seven languages. He is also a lecturer and the founder and Senior Editor of, the Internet's first blogs on preparedness that has enjoyed perennial popularity and now receives more than 320,000 unique visits per week. He and his family live at a remote self-sufficient ranch surrounded by National Forest lands that is is cryptically identified as located "somewhere west of the Rockies.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

533 of 605 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Pratt on June 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Patriots is a TEOWAWKI , militia-style survivalist novel packed with information. While Patriots does mention stockpiling food and the use of non-hybrid seeds this is not a book about self-sufficiency. The premise of the novel is that an economic depression spirals out of control. The economy completely collapses, money becomes worthless, the mail stops, the power grid and phone system shuts down and the government at all levels disappears. In the story this period is understatedly called the Crunch, but no depression in the history of the United States has been nearly so severe. Even church services appear to stop for several years.

With the United States in turmoil and collapse, the United Nations and at least some international banks have survived. Together they become the catalyst behind a provisional federal government that seeks to exert near dictatorial control over America. Frankly, I believe there is much more strength in the institutions of the United States than there ever was in the United Nations and so this plot scenario strained believability for me. However, when asked, James Rawles stated, "I made the scenario in the novel a near `worst case' in order to make it more interesting reading, and as an opportunity to show the need for planning and preparedness in a variety of areas..."

Using the Crunch as a literary device Rawles packs the novel with data about guns, medicine, fuels, equipment and tactics. The book has been described in several online reviews as a "survival manual fairly neatly dressed as fiction." Indeed it is much more entertaining than reading the facts in a reference book or manual. But this is also the greatest weakness. It is hard to pack facts into a novel without the author intruding into the story.
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329 of 401 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Excellent work by Mr. Rawles. In it he explores the possibilities and what ifs of a total collapse of the civilized world that we have come to know and upon which we depend. Imagine, if you will, that the economy spins out of control and takes civilized society with it. Imagine this event making the Great Depression look like a walk in the park. How would one survive or thrive during such a chaotic experience? Can it be done alone? What are the real problems and issues that might need to be overcome? Mr. Rawles novel explores those possibilites. His information is well presented. Obviously a lot of thought and research went into this novel. It reads more like a contingency plan and less like some escapist fantasy. It beats any sci-fi novel hands down. I strongly recommend "Patriots" to anyone who's ever wondered what would happen should the day come when they dialed 911 and nobody answered.(Remember Hurricane Andrew and the LA Riots?) Read "Patriots" and find out. It is definitely time well spent. However, let me offer a word of warning. Pick up "Patriots" and you won't want to put it down until its finished!
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362 of 450 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Parrott on June 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has to be one of the worst edited books I have ever seen. You can tell it was written in the 1990s and updated recently; they mention the election of Barack Obama. But they did a lousy job of updating the text. The time lines, ages and historic events are screwed up. For example on page 22, it says that Todd and Mary found the ranch on vacation trips to Idaho in 2001 (happily married at the time). On the same page it states the idea for a group retreat was formed in 2006, while Todd and T.K. were in college. Later, it says that Todd started working from home in 2008, using a PC with a 20 gig hard drive and a dial-up modem. Dial-up in 2008? Especially for a corporate sanctioned telecommuter? That may have been the standard in 1988! On page 35, Kevin graduates college in 2007 and starts as a junior programmer. Next paragraph Kevin is starting SECOND career as freelance programmer in 2002. I guess he started his freelance in high school? Also, Doug states his age as 22, but he was born a year after his parent got married, soon after his fathers return from Vietnam. Let's see...The Crunch hits in 2009, so that means Doug was born in 1987, that means his father got home from Vietnam around 1986 or so. Delayed demobilization? POW release? These are just a few of the examples of bad editing and updating.

Come on, the use of a simple whiteboard with a timeline drawn on it and used to update the text would have made this a much more enjoyable read. Any decent editor should have caught these errors and had them corrected before sending it to the printers.

Plus, as another reviewer stated, recent college grads paying cash in the hundred thousand dollar range for ranches in Idaho is a bit ridiculous.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By L. Markwald on August 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are some very good one star reviews on this book - Which is exactly what this book deserves. I won't attempt to recreate them or try and write a better one. My purpose here is to save you money. Do not buy this book. There are a host of better titles out there and this one is so full of moral ambiguity and self-righteousness, you'll save yourself some of your precious time. As a career law enforcement officer and military veteran, I took a great deal of offense at the portrayals of many of the characters in this book. I also consider myself an ardent Second Amendment supporter and conservative. My politics would likely be far to the right. So I thought I would like this book. However, the actions of the characters were so far off from their professed moral high ground it just got ridiculous. I'll give a few examples and then end this review with an additional warning. First, the characters in this book are supposedly super law abiding (when they aren't illegally modifying their own weapons or creating their own radio crystals for using FCC restricted frequency bands). They make some ridiculous and ludicrous decisions based on their supposed high moral values. In a world gone to hell, they won't steal anything, even if it means their death. The ROTC kid spends a winter in a cabin stocked with canned food but won't eat it. So he risks malnutrition and related diseases eating mostly game meat rather than take food from a cabin in the woods where the owner, who is likely already dead since he's not there "surviving" might possibly return and consider his cabin "looted".Read more ›
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