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The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot Paperback – September 5, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


Library Journal (starred review)-
This latest offering from best-selling author Wolf, The Beauty Myth, is a harbinger of an age that may finally see the patriarchal realm of political discourse usurped. Here is Wolf's compellingly and cogently argued political argument for civil rights, not women's rights. She contributes this call to action to a canon that from Plato and Aristotle to Hobbes and Locke and forward, with a few exceptions (e.g., Hannah Arendt), has been largely populated by men. Wolf's work is actually closer to the agitated, passionate polemics of Emma Goldman than the ponderous, philosophical musings of Arendt. Readers will appreciate her energy and urgency as she warns we are living through a dangerous "fascist shift" brought about by the Bush administration. Her chapters outline the "Ten Steps to Fascism" citing historical corollaries (as well as the pigs in Orwell's Animal Farm), with headings like "Invoke an External and Internal Threat," "Establish Secret Prisons," and "Target Key Individuals." In other words, fascism can exist without dictatorship. Her book's publication through a small press in Vermont that is committed to "the politics and practice of sustainable living" rather than through a large trade house is itself a political act. Highly recommended for all collections.

(Theresa Kintz, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA)

"One of the most important books that's been written, certainly in the last decade or two, and perhaps in my lifetime."--Thom Hartmann, best-selling author and host of The Thom Hartmann Radio Program

"Naomi Wolf 's End of America is a vivid, urgent, mandatory wake-up call that addresses momentous issues of tyranny, democracy, and survival."--Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of the three-volume Eleanor Roosevelt and distinguished professor at John Jay College

"Naomi Wolf sounds the alarm for all American patriots. We must come together as a nation and recommit ourselves to the fundamental American idea that no president, whether Democrat or Republican, will ever be given unchecked power."--Wes Boyd, co-founder,

"The framers of our Constitution fully understood that it can happen here. Patriots like Madison, Paine, and Franklin would certainly applaud Naomi Wolf and recognize her as a sister in their struggle."--Mark Crispin Miller, author of Fooled Again

"You will be shocked and disturbed by this book. Most Americans reject outright any comparison of post 9/11 America with the fascism and totalitarianism of Nazi Germany or Pinochet's Chile. Sadly, the parallels and similarities, what Wolf calls the 'echoes' between those societies and America today, are all too compelling."--Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights

From the Inside Flap

An impassioned call to action to Americans from all walks of life to restore the checks and balances and our time-honored protections against abuses of power outlined by our Founding Fathers.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 1st edition (September 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933392797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933392790
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Naomi Wolf was born in San Francisco in 1962. She was an undergraduate at Yale University and did her graduate work at New College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

Her essays have appeared in various publications including: The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Ms., Esquire, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She also speaks widely to groups across the country.

The Beauty Myth, her first book, was an international bestseller. She followed that with Fire With Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change The 21st Century, published by Random House in 1993, and Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood, published in 1997. Misconceptions, released in 2001, is a powerful and passionate critique of pregnancy and birth in America.

In fall 2002, Harper Collins published a 10th anniversary commemorative edition of The Beauty Myth. In May of 2005, Ms. Wolf released The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom from my Father on How to Live, Love and See. The End of America, published in September 2007 by Chelsea Green, is Naomi's latest book.

Naomi Wolf is co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization devoted to training young women in ethical leadership for the 21st century. The institute teaches professional development in the arts and media, politics and law, business and entrepreneurship as well as ethical decision making.

She lives with her family in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

310 of 337 people found the following review helpful By PM on October 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
President Bush has carried on a century-long trend to its next step (which happens to be an horrendous one). My complaint about Naomi Wolfe is that she seems focused on President Bush, when really he is merely the latest figurehead in a generation-spanning agenda. Also, she ignores the complicity (and therefore the guilt) of Congress. Additionally, she claims that we are a democracy, and we are not: this is a constitutional republic. This is not merely semantics - a democracy does not have a rule book, just runs by the whims of the majority (in an ideal setting). A Constitutional Republic has a rule book, called the Constitution, and being a republic keeps the original rules somewhat intact unless a true majority is willing to work to change the rules (make amendments). On the other hand, she describes the realities of what happens to the relationship between the government and its people as a country or nation goes downhill. Those steps described were not made up by Ms. Wolfe. Many of those steps have been implemented in our country today. She is also inspiring to her listeners for she at least tells them that they can reverse this trend back toward freedom, which she is absolutely right when she says we are losing it faster than you can say "statism".
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174 of 187 people found the following review helpful By Gary Schroeder on October 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Not quite yet, but perhaps we're close. Naomi Wolf has written a book that fills a significant need at this point in our history. She sounds the call to warn American citizens...warn us that we may be slowly metamorphosing into that which we despise most: a country that bullies its citizens and is unaccountable to any recognized authority.

While some will see this book as alarmist --and reasonable people could debate this-- one of her points is undoubtedly true. That is, the decent into a repressive regime is slow and quiet. It usually does not come as an overnight announcement of martial law or suspension of elections. Instead, it happens over the course of years, so quietly that most may never notice until it's a fait accompli. Only then will people ask "how did this happen?".

Wolf compares and contrasts recent events in American history with those in Communist Russia, fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. This will undoubtedly put some readers off as any one of these references is a hot button that, once pushed, inflames blinding emotion. However, if you can get past that, the parallels are disquieting...even when read with a skeptical eye.

I hope that when I re-read this review in two years that I will be able to say that my concerns about torture, secret prisons, warrantless eavesdropping, a cowed media, and all the rest have faded away. If not, I'll have to acknowledge the prescience of Wolf's thesis.
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290 of 328 people found the following review helpful By D. T. on September 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was thoroughly frightened by the content of this book, and truly hope others are as well. The path we are headed down in this country should be concerning to both Democrats and Republicans. Loss of our liberties will, after all, affect all of us. I would urge anyone who reads this to keep an open mind, and not immediately discard the message she is conveying simply because it focuses on troubling things being done by the current administration. These things would be troubling no matter which party the president belonged to. Being able to take a step back from blind party allegiance to actually see when there is a problem is a key factor in maintaining a healthy democracy. No leader deserves our blind allegiance, regardless of their political party affiliation. Our elected leaders should be accountable to us, not the other way around.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By S. Potter on October 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very frightening book. Frightening because it connects the current events of today with the events that led up to that mid-20th century horror of fascism, WWII, and the aftermath.

Drawing on history, from both European and other authoratarian risings, the author paints a grim picture of what could happen here. Ms. Wolf shows ten steps that all tyranical governments seem to enact in some order and shows the parallels between history and today. I became more and more chilled as I progressed down the chapters: Invoke a Internal & External Threat, Establish Secret Prisons, Develop a Paramilitary Force, Surveil Ordinary Citizens, Infiltrate Citizens' Groups, Arbitrarily Detain and Release Citizens, Target Key Individuals, Restrict The Press, Cast Criticism As "Espionage" And Dissent As "Treason", and Subvert The Rule Of Law. Sound like the headlines?

At times the author comes of as strident, but 14 pages of endnotes and 4 pages of bibliography make for a convincing case, as does her plain language and multiple examples.

I recommend this book for anyone who wants a view into what could happen or who just wants to avoid the worst case scenario that seems to be approaching if no one stands up to it. I have already ordered ten copies as Christmas presents.
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186 of 211 people found the following review helpful By T. Bracco on September 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Americans have sadly taken democracy for granted. The author of this book sends a necessary letter of warning to get Americans to realize that the continuation of democracy depends on the participation and action of citizens. Ms. Wolf's book identifies 10 steps that have historically been used to shut down open societies and how those steps are currently being taken in our nation today. If you are thinking that sounds harsh, this book will surprise you with its research, argument and facts. If you've been feeling in recent years that something is just not right, Ms. Wolf cites historical examples and recent newspaper articles to demonstrate why you are sensing an erosion of rights and justice. This is a brave book and I applaud Ms. Wolf for caring enough about our country to write it. The American people have now been warned that our democracy is more delicate than we think. Time will tell if collectively people care enough to respond in a way that prevents the "fascist shift" Wolf outlines in this shocking new book.
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