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on December 3, 2016
Mr. Hightower's 1998 book is applicable to current events and could have been taken from today's headlines. His call to the Democratic Party to "BE Democrats again" is prescient; the pain of the working class, and the belief that "politicians" could not be trusted to respond to it, carried "outsider" Donald Trump into the presidency. This book should be required reading for all Democrats who aspire to public office.
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on September 17, 2004
Nobody is safe from the sharpened teeth and wit of this political watchdog, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

Though "Armadillos" is an older book, published in 1997, it is still valid today. And those of you who think he's swinging too hard at Pres. Bush will enjoy watching his energy focused on Clinton, who was Pres then.

This is what I mean when I say Jim Hightower is not necessarily anti-Bush; he is anti corporateering and pro working-citizens. He will aim his sights at anyone, regardless of partisan politics, and expose their greedy, pork-filled underbellies.

"Armadillos" is divided into five basic sections; Class War, The Media, Pollution, and Politics.

In Corporateworld, Hightower exposes such big-money deceptions as Corporatized Medicine. While we sit back and debate whether or not socialized medicine is a worthwhile route, the HMO's and Corporations have taken over our health care to line their own pockets and serve no one but themselves. Also note his timeline comparisons to the old Robber Barons, and the similarities of today's working place. And watch out NAFTA, Hightower is on to you!

In Class War, Hightower emphasizes the growing chasm between the filthy rich and the working-class right here in America. Fortunately, anything this top heavy must eventually topple over, especially when their supporting base becomes unstable. (translate to unhappy and no longer willing to hold them up) Of particular note in this chapter is Hightower's revisiting the origins of our holiday, Labor Day; by itself this makes the chapter Class War shine.

In The Media, Hightower exposes the media bias long before "Out-foxed" was ever made. Anyone remember the 1994 "Telecommunications Deregulation" bill that was supposed to create more competition in the telephone and cable choices we everyday citizens have? How many choices do you have now? If you are like me, there is One Mega-Monster provider that services your area and that is that. I still have no choice and I'm paying 10 times what I used to.

Pollution is the best chapter in the book. Here, Hightower charges in, no holes barred, and shows up the corporate greed, incompetent government agencies, and fat-belly back scratchings that are keeping this country polluted and compromising our health everyday. From meat-packing to organochlorines, no polluter is safe. I have recently read a very disturbing book called "Slaughterhouse" by Gail Eisnitz, and here in "Armadillos" Hightower proves that what Ms. Eisnitz exposed has been going on for a very long time.

Taking a huge risk here, Hightower even stands up against the "feel good" events such as the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How dare he attack such a noble and gentle association? Because the sole funding source of BCAM is Zeneca Group, a huge multibillion-dollar corporation named in a 1990 lawsuit for dumping DDT and PCB's into Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors. What, you say? Zeneca produces cancer causing, chlorine based pesticides, most of which are dumped into our environment, then has the nerve to tell us women that its our "fatty diets" or our "lifestyles" causing our illnesses. To put icing on top of this putrescent cake, Zeneca also owns a pharmaceutical company that produces a treatment drug for breast cancer. Give it to `em, then charge `em to try and cure it.

During the next BCAM campaign, watch to see if any mention is made to organochlorines and their links to cancer. You won't find any.

The last chapter, Politics, sounds more volatile but is actually a gentle sliding out of the book. Making more and more sense, Hightower warns us that instead of being so partisan, we need to question the ethics of each and every candidate, especially where their monetary interests are.

"Armadillos" is still in tune with the problems of this country, and what I really like about him is that he points out ways for the reader to fight back, so you are not left all riled up with no comb in your hand.

His humor is both sharp and refreshing, and he infuses it heavily into his written works, making palatable even the most horrible of subjects. One of my favorite ideas of his is the Candidate Stickers; just like racecar drivers wear patches and stickers showing their sponsors, so should our politicians. Hightower paints a very funny picture of a debate with sticker-covered candidates, the only part that is not so funny is that while we argue party against party, the candidates are wearing the same corporate logos on their 1K suits.

Hightower uses extensive reference to real occurances here, naming bills and corporations, providing dates, and showcasing the organizations that are making a difference. This is a great book for those just becoming politically aware, and for old veterans of the partisan wars alike. Hightower's witty prose and down-home humor actually make politics a fun read. Enjoy!
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on October 20, 2016
Lots of fun quotes and quips, but too disjointed. Fun for a quick read with funny quotes like the old cowboy truism: "Speak the truth and ride a fast horse." Although it contains some good food for thought, don't associate this in any way with a disciplined academic work. It was not intended for that purpose.
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on November 15, 2017
Very well, humorously written. A lot of truth here. Sadly, not much has changed in the years since this was written. That is its only problem, it is a bit old. But again, Hightower's opinion's and insights are still very timely given that not much has changed in the years since the book was written.
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on September 20, 2017
As usual, a humorous review of the Establishment. A good satire of the middle of the road ideologists.
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on November 15, 2016
Let me explain it this way, I am pretty politically conservative and I still enjoyed this book and learned from it. A very readable political education.
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on February 14, 2003
I voted for Jim Hightower (for Land Commissioner or something like that) way back when I'd just turned 18 and was able to vote for the first time. I'm very glad to see he's still fighting for the little guy. I live abroad, and whenever anyone asks where home is, I always used to proudly say, "Texas!" These days, it's getting harder and harder to be proud. At least with Bush the First, we could say, "Well, he's not really a Texan." But Junior...well, there's really no denying it, is there? He embodies every negative stereotype of the Texas millionaire.
But when I read Hightower, I remember all the good things about Texas, and about America, too. People like Jim Hightower and Molly Ivins make me proud to be a Texan and an American--people who cut through the lies and take on the big boys without a drop of fear in their hearts...just because it's the right thing to do.
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on January 4, 2017
A true man of the people. The integrity he shows in his views is undaunted. A must read for those wondering what this day and age will bring unless we all apply ourselves to solutions.
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on November 22, 2016
An interesting read about how big business has such a hold on politics and how we are losing the two party system of government. It does get a little wordy in parts but he was a politician.
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on December 8, 2016
Jim Hightower could have written his book just prior to the 2016 election. He is indeed a populist. .His characterization of big money and power confirmed my long held feelings about the attitude of american business.
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