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Shakedown: How the Government Screws You from A to Z Paperback – September 1, 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140258191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140258196
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,498,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Bovard is the author of Public Policy Hooligan (Kindle version 2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (St. Martin's/Palgrave, 2006), and eight other books. He is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and many other publications. His books have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and Korean. He is a contributing editor for the American Conservative and a regular contributor to the Future of Freedom monthly, published by the Future of Freedom Foundation.

The Wall Street Journal called Bovard 'the roving inspector general of the modern state,' and Washington Post columnist George Will called him a 'one-man truth squad.' His 1994 book Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty received the Free Press Association's Mencken Award as Book of the Year. His book Terrorism and Tyranny won the Lysander Spooner Award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. He received the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association.

His writings have been been publicly denounced by the chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Postmaster General, and the chiefs of the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. International Trade Commission, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as by many congressmen and other malcontents.

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Format: Paperback
What's great about Bovard is that he seems to have no loyalties or vested interests. He appears to be a true libertarian, even to a fault at times. For the most part this book is good at chronicling these offenses, giving them little bullet points after a brief description of each category. A lot of times that works out better than the huge over-reaching style Bovard tends to use. On the other hand, people might see these as isolated examples of absolute worst of our government. I tend to think they're far more commonplace. A huge fault of the book is the lack of citation!!! Bovard typically does a fine job notating where he got his information within the text as well as by footnote. The other issue is that now and then some of his complaints seem ridiculous or his humor is to dry to know what he's trying to get at. He's no master of sarcasm, but you start to get him after awhile. In such a simple style of writing he's not always able to make his argument as to why the government's really intruding on anything more than principle...which needs to be done from time to time so you can see why that violation might go beyond principle and into an important asset of your life.

Still, it's a good quick reference of some of the many topics you can find on how the government really truly rips off the average joe like it's their job. They're quite good at it and well over half the people in this country appear to be sheep. The ideas that we 1. live in a democracy and 2. always find democracy to be the best form of government are both ludicrous. We live in a Constitutional Republic, by the way and mob rule is NOT always right. You can consider pre-Civil War America as an example of this. Bovard would give you a more descriptive essay on it I bet.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent well-written book. For almost every letter in the alphabet, there's a topic heading of the subject and a description of how the author of the book feels that the government is screwing people. There's a chapter on Police Brutality. The book says that too often, policemen and police supervisors let some other policemen get away with atrocities because of the blue wall of silence. The book claimed that a US Attorney described corruption in the New Orleans Police Department to be rampant and systematic. The book claimed that in 1991 four policemen from Oakland, CA were convicted of assaulting, robbing, and stealing from local residents. In 1993, a Federal Judge condemned the District of Columbia Police Department channeling of complaints of excessive force by police officers. The judge claimed it was ineffective. According to the book, a Black Philadelphia plainclothes policewoman was beaten with fists and flashlights by other police after her partner radioed in a call for backup. The legal system's tolerance for police dishonesty is so extreme in some areas that police are sometimes not even prosecuted when they're caught doing something illegal. The Mollen Commission reported that police perjury is a widespread form of police wrongdoing.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book for a government project. It gives ironic stories of government mess-ups. The government has put itself in between a rock and a hard place when it comes to certain acts and laws. Such self-entrapments are:doctors that sue for losing their jobs because they have hepatitis and under the laws, they have the right to claim disability. This book is a quick read and does not seem to give very many sources.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally ordered this book from another dealer but the sale was cancelled because it was out of stock. This order was filled within a few days and the book was in very good shape. Great book, great service!
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