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An Enemy Of The State Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1984

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the LaNague Federation Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

...both a philosophical tale and an action yarn, and the two are integrated naturally and well. Read it. -- Analog

Terrific! -- Reason Magazine

[A] tense and well-written cautionary tale... -- Wikipedia --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

F. Paul Wilson is the "New York Times" bestselling author of horror, adventure, medical thrillers, science fiction, and virtually everything in between. His books include the Repairman Jack novels including "Ground Zero", "The Tomb", and "Fatal Error" the Adversary cycle including "The Keep" and a young adult series featuring the teenage Jack. Wilson has won the Prometheus Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Inkpot Award from the San Diego ComiCon, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Horror Writers of America, among other honors. He lives in Wall, New Jersey. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley Books (February 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425068331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425068335
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,866,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Tipton on October 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
So many sci-fi novels delve into the tiniest details concerning weapons, transportation, intelligent computers, etc. while ignoring the most fundamental aspects of one of the most powerful forces in society, namely economics. Wilson manages to tell the story of a revolution centered on economics, and he doesn't "dumb down" the theory behind it. He cleverly illustrates the human effects of economic forces by sympathetically telling the stories of both the initiators of these forces and their victims.

This is not a shoot-em-up type of story. All of the characters are motivated by ideology, and Wilson does a good job of humanizing even the most villainous among them while at the same time presenting a hero who is vulnerable himself to the same vices of his opponents.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Unlike some other sci-fi future revolutions, the revolution in this book is bloodless and based solely on economics. Borrowing ideas from modern political science and economics, Wilson visits issues like the Gold Standard, libertarianism/anarchism, inflation, totalitarianism, market controls, and even gender attitudes in old civilizations vs. frontier developments (i.e., a frontier's success is dependent on getting new people, one of the easiest ways being women giving birth -- thus, women become baby factories and are devalued with regards to any other activity or idea.)
However, Wilson goes a little light on all the ideology; there are some strong personalities at play in this story of an empire's accelerated downfall. Just like in Asimov's Foundation Series, a small cabal is working to soften the impact of the inevitable crash of an overloaded empire; however, in Wilson's version, the impact is lessened by forcing a collapse in 5 years, as opposed to the expected 20. The leader of this movement, Peter LaNague, is from an odd frontier planet Tolive (for "to live"), founded by a group of people following the tenets of Kyfho (in the book, Kyfho is found to be very much in the vein of Heinlein's TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As a Free Lunch). But LaNague is up against the violent Droohin, leader of a rebel group whose plans were ruined by LaNague. A mysterious ultra-violent couple under LaNague's orders keeps Droohin in check, but one wonders if the tension can hold.
I found the book fascinating in its development. Wilson keeps you as well as the other conspirators in the dark as to the overarching plan - LaNague plays it close to the chest so that the movement is not betrayed.
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Format: Paperback
Originally written in the 1970s, in the context of stagflation, F. Paul Wilson's ENEMY OF THE STATE has renewed relevance today, with the likelihood of high price inflation hanging like a sword of Damocles over the United States thanks to the Fed's recent money-creation spree.

This book is set an the future on a group of planets ruled by the Outworld Imperium, an oppressive, declining, semi-democratic empire. Wilson chronicles a small cabal's efforts to achieve a genuinely libertarian revolution. It is led by a charismatic-if-somewhat-aloof man named Peter LaNague, an adherent to a libertarian philosophy known as "Kyfho" (an acronym for "Keep Your F@#*%&*g Hands Off" -- gotta love it!) Because of his strong belief in libertarian principles, LaNague's challenge is to effect a revolution with as little violence or loss of life as possible, and to ensure that the "old boss" is not replaced with a "new boss." Instead, LaNague wants there to be "no boss."

How LaNague pulls this all off is quite clever -- I won't reveal everything, but let's just say a crucial part of his strategy is turning the government's tendency towards inflation against it. To me it was quite inspiring and extremely relevant.

Any libertarian-leaning scifi fan will love this book. It's clearly in the tradition of such classics as Heinlein's THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS (there's even a brief reference to that book in ENEMY, a tip of the hat by Wilson to Heinlein.) My only (minor) complaint about ENEMY OF THE STATE is its brevity -- normally I'm a big proponent of concision in books, but in this case I found myself wanting more!
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Format: Paperback
Never judge a book by its cover, right? Well I did when I pulled this one off the shelf at my neighborhood paperback re-seller. I had never heard of F. Paul Wilson before but was stretching my wings in anti-state philosophy. Collapse the STATE by exposing the sand of it's foundation; faulty economic policy. LaNague is a cross between Guy Fawkes and Robin Hood! Now I am a F. Paul Wilson addict, especially his Repairman Jack series. An Enemy of the State is a friend of mine...

:)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I picked this up for free over a year ago and just now got around to reading it (my to-be-read pile on the Kindle is becoming quite large).

I use a modified version of the Baen criteria in judging science fiction: the technology and plot lines needs to be believable, you have to be able to relate to the characters, and if there are aliens don't gross me out or overly confuse me with strange names and abilities. This one hits meets all of my modified interpretation of the Baen criteria.

This book - while written a few decades ago - seems to have a lot of today's details involved with its plot: a government growing larger and larger, increasing unemployment, an ever-increasing public debt, and inflation growing unchecked. All combined with a growing discontent with the public and radical change being initiated.

I thought it was pretty good, and have the next one in the series but will wait a while to start it. While I picked it up for free, I think it is well worth the $2.99 Kindle price (pricing as of April 20, 2011).
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