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Swim against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow [Paperback]

Jim Hightower
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Syndicated columnist Hightower (Thieves in High Places) joins writer and activist DeMarco to produce this irreverent and uplifting look at how individuals and companies can be both successful and socially responsible. Disproving the notion that a business must operate solely to improve its bottom line, they share inspirational stories from a variety of industries including international banking, real estate development, medical services, and environmentally safe, sustainable farming. Hightower and DeMarco include portraits of progressive community organizations, activists and individuals-such as ACORN and the Rev. Rich Cizik-who have bucked the system and realized richer, happier lives. To their credit, the authors do not traffic in abstracts. They provide tangible steps to escape "corporate tentacles" and become catalysts for change; the book even lists contact information for a majority of the individuals and companies discussed. An entertaining and insightful look at making a living while staying true to one's values, this book will please Hightower's many fans and will earn him more than a few new ones.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"We all need some inspiration from time to time to remind us of what we’re fighting for, not just against. Hightower and DeMarco provide it in these pages, thank our lucky stars..." (DailyKos.com, April 6, 2008) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Will Jim Hightower ever stop complaining about corporate greed and political corruption long enough to say something positive for a change? Yes!

In Swim against the Current, America's most irascible and hilarious curmudgeon turns a kind and benevolent eye toward the brave, hardy, and hardworking souls who have found ways to break free from corporate tentacles; redefine success in business, politics, and life in general; and blaze new pathways toward a richer and (dare he say it?) happier way of life.

The people whose stories you will read in this eye-opening tour of "Other Ways to Live Your Life" didn't set out to be mavericks or revolutionaries. They are solid, productive American citizens who found it necessary to define their own kind of success, take charge of their own destinies, live according to their own values, and find ways to do well while doing good.

Is it possible to operate a large and successful business without low-balling your suppliers, underpaying your employees, and kowtowing to your clients' demands for rock-bottom prices? You'll find the answer when you meet the farmers' cooperative that said "NO!" to Wal-Mart and thrived, the economists who got into the coffee business by accident and turned the entire industry on its ear, and the cab drivers who turned a dead-end job into a satisfying, lifelong career.

What about breaking loose from politics-as-usual and building a new politics based on our democratic ideals and our desire to be self-governing? Hightower introduces you to a group of young Oregonians who set out to wrest control of their state legislature from the hands of corporate interests—and succeeded! You'll also meet people across the country who are fighting campaign-finance corruption through the Clean Elections movement, as well as the Minnesotans whose missionis to mentor people everywhere on how to get personally involved in politics on the local, state, and even national levels.

And what about the rest of life? Are we condemned to a future of complacent consumerism as corporations and kleptocrats exploit our differences over abortion and gay marriage to distract us from what's really going on? Here, too, Hightower has good news. He reports on an astounding alliance between scientists and evangelical Christians to combat global warming, environmental destruction by mining companies, indiscriminate logging, and more.

Complete with an extensive contact list to help you find your own path to a more involved and satisfying life, Swim against the Current is the one book that the CEOs, lobbyists, and bought politicians don't want you to read. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Buck the system and win!

"We all need some inspiration from time to time to remind us of what we're fighting for, not just against. Hightower and DeMarco provide it in these pages, thank our lucky stars."
Daily Kos

"[An] irreverent and uplifting look at how individuals and companies can be both successful and socially responsible.... [Hightower and DeMarco] provide tangible steps to escape 'corporate tentacles' and become catalysts for change.... An entertaining and insightful look at making a living while staying true to one's values, the book will please Hightower's many fans and will earn him more than a few new ones."
Publishers Weekly

While politicians of both parties have discovered "change" as a neat political buzzword, thousands of corporate lobbyists in Washington sit comfortably behind those very politicians, smiling, winking, and doling out campaign cash to maintain business as usual.

But don't despair, for there's real hope! Instead of looking to Washington, Hightower and DeMarco take us into the heart of America to introduce us to our country's genuine agents of change—ordinary folks who've chosen to buck the system, defy the rigid corporate order, and live their progressive values.

Swim against the Current is a rollicking read, telling the uplifting stories of feisty grassroots people and groups who're not just talking about change but actually producing it—in politics, business, health care, banking, religion, and other aspects of American life.

Oscar Wilde said, "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." That's the plucky spirit of this delightful book. You'll meet cab drivers, organic farmers, the organizers of "Fighting Bob Fest," a maverick pharmacist, evangelical environmentalists, and so many others who are being true to themselves, swimming against the current, and showing the rest of us new ways to make our lives more meaningful, more satisfying.

Some say we can't change the system. But, as Hightower and DeMarco point out in this surprising and inspiring book: "Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."

About the Author

Jim Hightower is a syndicated columnist, a national radio commentator, the publisher of the Hightower Lowdown newsletter, and the New York Times bestselling author of Thieves in High Places.

Susan DeMarco is a writer, a former radio talk-show host, a public-interest activist, and longtime Hightower partner-in-crime.

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