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The Army of the Republic: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Stuart Archer Cohen
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

In an America stretched by crisis to the breaking point, billionaire entrepreneur and government insider James Sands is riding high. Over the protests of civic groups and the increasing alienation of his wife, Anne, Sands is poised on the brink of an immensely risky and controversial deal that will give him control of all public water in the Pacific Northwest. But when his business partner is murdered by a radical group called The Army of the Republic, Sands finds himself losing control of his business and his life. Desperate, he turns to Whitehall Security, a private intelligence firm with far-reaching political connections. For a steep monthly fee, Whitehall will hunt down and eliminate any threats to Sands's enterprise.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, a young guerrilla named Lando leads The Army of the Republic into a dangerous war of ideals. Charismatic and cunning, Lando is obsessed with the goal of saving the country from its corrupt ruling alliance by any means necessary. His reluctant ally is political organizer Emily Cortright, coordinator of a network of civil, religious, and labor groups. Bound together in a web of common aims and conflicting loyalties, the two plan a massive peaceful protest against a conference of national business leaders, which they hope will stagger the Regime.

Beyond his control, through, Lando's Army of the Republic has already unleashed a chain of events that will electrify and frighten an uneasy nation. Hemmed in by their lethal compromises, Emily, Lando, James, and Anne struggle to redeem or destroy those whom they love most.

Thrilling and unforgettable, The Army of the Republic is a brilliant, provocative novel about what it means to live in a democracy.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Politically liberal readers will probably best appreciate Cohen's near-future thriller, in which corporate oligarchs run America and the middle classes acquiesce through fear of the displaced underclass, composed of those generally left behind by globalization. A coalition of trade unionists, environmentalists, religious groups and civil libertarians opposes the oligarchs. When the administration hacks electronic voting to rig elections, a general strike is called that's put down with Blackwater-style mercenaries. This leads a small group of activists to launch a campaign of assassinations and sabotage to force the government into allowing elections, but this triggers even more repression. While Cohen (Invisible World) vividly describes the dynamics of a demonstration as it evolves into a riot, even those in sympathy with the author's message may find this paranoid fantasy too heavy-handed and strident for their taste. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It’s the near future, and across the U.S., bands of citizens have begun guerrilla wars to take the government back from corporate oligarchs who have hijacked elections, shattered the economy, and raped the environment. One guerrilla is Joshua Sands, aka Lando, who is a founder of the Army of the Republic; one oligarch is James Sands, Lando’s father and a man who has made billions by controlling water sources needed by millions of Americans. Army of the Republic uses the Sands family to highlight the polarization. Lando fully expects to be hunted down and killed or disappeared by Whitehall, a Blackwater look-alike; his father believes himself to be an honorable man, and in some respects, he is. James Sands represents Cohen’s brief nod to nuance, but the bulk of the book is Cohen’s extrapolation of trends and events in the very recent history of the country: wars of choice, the politics of fear, deregulation, oil shock, torture, and on and on. A few people will call his polemical page-turner treasonous, but it should find plenty of supporters among those who think the country is moving in the wrong direction. --Thomas Gaughan

Product Details

  • File Size: 1492 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001F55A3Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,033,732 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wake up, America, and read! September 20, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love blurbs sometimes. When they're not ridiculously banal, they're absurdly nonsensical. Take this one from David Maine's review of Army of the Republic: "Thomas Paine meets Rage Against the Machine." Ooooookay. Set aside for the moment that this description is, actually, fairly accurate. I immediately started making my own comparisons:

John Locke meets The Apprentice! Oedipus meets Ani DiFranco! DNC '68 meets Seattle WTO!

See how much fun that is? "Army of the Republic" presents us with America through the looking glass. It's a terrifying world, but it differs from ours only in degree, not in kind. (I hesitate to say that it's set in the future - a few things are left unmentioned that really should have been if this was still our own world.) Against this backdrop of corruption and resistance, we're presented with a small set of characters who represent a variety of groups, from corporate shills to peaceful protesters to armed revolutionaries. And what keeps "AOTR" from devolving into 300 pages of anti-corporate ranting and anarchist propaganda is that this is foremost a story about people. These people have ideals, yes, and that's what makes them do the things they do, and that's important. But just when Cohen is on the verge of descending into outraged shrieking about the complacency of the American public or the criminal tendencies of CEOs, he reminds us that these are real (OK, fictional) people we're talking about. Lando, Emily, James, and Anne are incredibly complex characters on their own, and when you start exploring their various relationships you get a web of conflict, conscience, and conviction that will make it impossible for you to not sympathize with them all.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decaying Democracy November 25, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Imagine that corporate America gains control of the United States. The government conducts elections on the Internet and manipulates the results. Unemployment is beyond depression levels. Agencies of the corporate government control television networks. Private companies own most of the water. A revolution begins and you are asked to take sides. Which side do you trust? That question faces readers of Army of the Republic.

The scene of Stuart Cohen's new novel is set in an America of the near future. The patriot act has expanded and the government has outsourced a large share of its responsibilities. We are still at war in the middle east, our military forces have grown, gas is not affordable, and most media and entertainment outlets are carefully manipulated. Civil disobedience festers and corporations fight back.

The novel has four narrators. First is Lando, an active member of the Army of the Republic (AOR). The AOR is a "radical" opposition group that uses violence as a primary tool. The second narrator is James Sands, CEO of Water Solutions, a corporation that controls much of the water in the country. The third narrator is James Sands' wife Anne. Anne is a teacher who disapproves of her husband's political activities. The fourth narrator is Emily Cartwright, a leading member of Democracy Northwest Network (DNN), a political action group that organizes against what they deem as offensive corporate or governmental activity.

Although Cohen's novel is heavy in social and political intrigue, the characters are sympathetic and appealing. Lando is the lovable boy genius, well read in the lives of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and in the Constitution of the United States. Lando's intentions are always admirable and necessary.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent novel whose subject matter is quite germane. November 23, 2008
By lupin78
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Army of the Republic by Cohen is an interesting tale of resistance to an oppressive regime in a possible near future America. In fact, this book could conceivably be set in present day America if a few minor details were altered. No doubt there have already been similar occurrences in reality since the Patriot Act and Military Commissions act have effectively suspended habeas corpus and given the vindictive and thoughtless federal government unchecked power.

Just this week US courts demanded that five secret prisoners be released from their unconstitutional incarceration in Guantanamo, and the Treasury is preparing to funnel billions more taxpayer dollars into the monolithic "big three", after already saddling future generations with trillions for banker bonuses. My point is that the content of the novel is entirely relevant, regardless of what some reviewers claim.

I won't call this book a literary masterpiece, as some of the characters are not all they could be and the storytelling is sometimes lackluster but does its job bringing important scenarios to the reader's attention.

Neocons and neolibs will probably dislike this book, although they are the ones who should be paying the most attention. Any lovers of freedom and liberty will probably enjoy this book regardless of its flaws.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How anti-terrorism plays out. September 14, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Other reviewers do a good job summarizing this book regarding its plotting, characterization, etc. Some of the opinions, however, are too concerned that the work is not an artistic masterpiece.

I agree that it is not, but, So What? I don't think Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here is one of his best writings yet it's still valuable as an exercise in showing how what is happening now might play out in the future.

That's what I take away from this book. Mr. Cohen shows what some of the anti-terrorism measures the USA has put in place since 9/11 would look like in operation.

The rational behind the fact that groups like Blackwater want to get into domestic intelligence work becomes clear.

Our collective NOW is one of fears and calls to patriotism and hate mongering and idealism and political ambitions and corporate supremacy and greed and violence as solution, etc. etc.

This book puts it all into a coherent picture. It is therefore well worth reading whether a reader agrees or disagrees with the scenario.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars frighteningly on target; today - possibly, tomorrow certainly,...
If the Regime which has so successfully shut down the federal government and the mindless state vaudeville acts is allowed to stagnate, the noble experiment which is America will... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bill Chalmers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book before the election; then vote!
Almost fifteen years ago, Stuart Cohen wrote his first novel, "The Invisible World." I kept it and recently re-read it because of the quality of both the writing and the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by G. C. Frantz
5.0 out of 5 stars Wishful thinking or future history?
Ever put down a book cause you don't want it to end? That's how I felt with AOR.

I was a lifelong conservative (and truthfully, if real conservatives still existed, I'd... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Al Swanson
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard Book to Read
Very difficult book to read. I never really identified with the characters. Maybe I will try again at a later date.
Published 16 months ago by Sharon M. Bressen
4.0 out of 5 stars Reads like tomorrows news
When this came out a few years back it was appeared to be a pretty accurate description of where the world was headed. It is a story of the future. Read more
Published on February 25, 2013 by RDtoo
3.0 out of 5 stars E for effort
I have tried *many* times to read this book and failed every time. I loved the plot (Occupy Wall Street before it happened), the storyline was realistic (I could see much of the... Read more
Published on December 28, 2011 by Donna Di Giacomo
4.0 out of 5 stars Fact or Fiction?
I tore through this book in a day. If you want to understand the "Occupy" movement, and see where it might go, read this book. Everything the author has the U.S. Read more
Published on October 16, 2011 by Anson Langhorn
5.0 out of 5 stars First read it in 08, I may just read it again
I'm not sure what I thought this book would be when I picked it up. I was thinking a dark cyberpunk story of the future part blade runner part dark angel. Read more
Published on March 7, 2011 by Martin Streetman
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't finish it
I tried to read this book many months ago and never finished. I figured I just wouldn't write a review since I only got half way through the book, but the fact that I never... Read more
Published on January 29, 2011 by Robert Haven
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so far fetched
A couple years ago this didn't seem too far away from our future. In a post 9/11 world, the government has exerted more and more control over citizens and inserted itself further... Read more
Published on November 18, 2010 by S. Montgomery
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