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Downsize This!: Random Threats from an Unarmed American [Paperback]

Michael Moore
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 14 1997
Americans today are working harder, working longer and yet for most of us, in this time of ruthless downsizing and political cronyism, job security, a decent standard of living and a comfortable retirement are becoming harder and harder to find. In this brilliantly funny and right-on-target diatribe, irreverent everyman Michael Moore gives his own bold views on who's behind the fading of the American dream.

Whether issuing Corporate Crook trading cards, organizing a Rodney King Commemorative Riot, sending a donation to Pat Buchanan from the John Wayne Gacy fan club (which was accepted) or trying to commit former right-wing congressman Bob Dornan to a mental hospital, the in-your-face host of TV Nation and director/star of Roger & Me combines an expansive wit with biting social commentary to make you think and laugh at the same time.

In hardcover, Downsize This! stormed the bestseller lists of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and others. Given Michael Moore's enormous -- and growing -- constituency, this trade paperback edition brings his unique perspective on the nation to an even greater audience.


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Product Description

From Amazon

Who says the left wing doesn't have a sense of humor? Maybe it doesn't, but documentarian Michael Moore sure does--Exhibit A was Roger & Me; B was the ill-fated TV Nation; and C is 1997's print skirmish Downsize This! Moore's politics are rabidly liberal, populist, and anti-big business--about what you'd expect from the former editor of Mother Jones. While this restricts his audience to Americans on the left side of the aisle, for them Downsize This! will be a chance to point and laugh hysterically (if ruefully) at the clique of rich white guys who run everything.

Moore is at his best as a prankster, whether it's trying to see if Pat Buchanan will take a campaign donation from the John Wayne Gacy Fan Club (yes) or whether he can have Bob Dornan committed to an insane asylum based on his bizarre behavior (no, but it was close). Moore is one of our sharpest satirists, and Downsize This! makes one wish he would write a "Sorry State of the Union" every year. But only if it doesn't cut into his moviemaking--that's too big a price to pay. --Michael Gerber

From Publishers Weekly

Moore, whose documentary film Roger & Me and television series TV Nation have a strong cult following, takes on corporations, politicians and Americana in general in a mordant satire that will leave both conservatives and liberals reeling with embarrassment. Moore tears into corporations and labor unions alike. Citing "economic terrorism," he goes after the "Big Welfare Mamas"?the CEOs?detailing their cozy tax deals with federal and local government, which have added to the deficit. He attacks the unions in "Why Are Union Leaders So F#!@ing Stupid," citing how they have collaborated with corporations (while taking huge salaries) to slash jobs from their own memberships. No one is immune; Moore scrutinizes the President, Bob Dole, NAFTA, Cuban refugees and Pat Buchanan. A scathing, funny book packed with facts, it will appeal to those who loved Al Franken's Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. Photos. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
SINCE MAKING Roger & Me in 1989, I've listened to a lot of stories from people, strangers in the street, who want to buy me a beer or a burger and tell me what happened to their American Dream. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch the watchdog June 28 2004
Format:Paperback
This is Michael Moore's first book and probably the most valuable, in that it hasn't been sullied by the publicity and outright nastiness that has developed between the 'left' and the 'right', with Michael Moore now involved given the success of Bowling for Columbine and now Fahrenheit 9/11.
Michael Moore is not really a serious commentator, I wouldn't call him a 'serious' political dissident. His avenue of approach is humor, which is good and bad. For one, he can reach more people with a colorful, humorous, and irreverent approach, and that's good. What's bad is when he is embraced solely for offering a very public dissident view, regardless of how he does it.
Serious commentators appeal to your thinking by arguing with facts, citing evidence, and avoiding personal attacks, bombast, and hatred. Moore is clearly angry, but his points are often clouded, something obvious in most of his films.
By now, we so know where he is coming from that his mere mention of Bush is supposed to get his fans cheering since we can assume he's going to rail against him or flat-out insult him. And that's a shame, because it sullies any serious intentions he has of changing people's minds.
For the most part, this book attacks the one-party system that operates in America, passing itself off as some kind of amazing democracy. And this is very tied to 'Big Business'. Moore is very frustrated and angry with a system that clearly favors institutional values over people. As in, why do corporations, already posting impressive profits, cut more jobs and move them overseas, for instance? More profit, of course. Yes, people suffer, but in the current system the hope is that the corporation (or country) will benefit and then begin to pass these benefits down to the people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a lot more than just Moore. June 27 2004
Format:Paperback
Moore's first book is actually his political policy disguised as a very funny liberal rant about all things corporate and crooked in America. If you want to learn more about what kind of policies Mike wants then this 1996 rage on the page is where it is at. For the critics who say that Moore is all about himself, this book proves them wrong. This is one that is certainly not much about Moore at all. I found barely two or three pages in it about Moore. This is about 90's corporate America. An important read for what was to follow in 2001.
"Downsize This" is probably not the easiest of Moore's books to follow because it is a little dated and centres on mostly America corrupt personalities who are unknown to the rest of the world... actually according to Moore they are pretty much unknown to Americans also which is really the case that the book wants to lay down - so Moore sets out to expose "Downsizers" (corporations that slash jobs at the height of their profits just to make more money). It is called GREED and Mike does one big expose on all of that (we are talking about corporations that are given massive government tax breaks ... your money... and then, when they are at their richest, slaughter the jobs of those who gave them the money in the first place by moving to some 3rd World Country to make EVEN MORE MONEY in places that have really bad human rights records). All that coverage is first rate material like his documentary Roger & Me. If you liked that documentary then you will like this.
Then he shows how some politicians will take and cash checks from any sponsor (Moore even sends a check from a satanic cult to Pat Buchanan to see if the politician will cash it... and he does!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sarcasim 101. The Michael Moore way Oct. 24 2003
Format:Paperback
I seem to encounter two kinds of people when it comes to the work of Michael Moore. Those who were completely outraged by his Oscar speech, and think he is a two-faced blow-hard (because he says he hates rich, corporate America yet lives in upscale NYC & works with the big-wigs in Hollywood), or those who think he is some kind of leader of the new-Liberal movement. i think both sides are taking it to the extreme. Simply put, Moore is someone who 'gets it'. He sees past all the spin that the government tries to put on everything...and he's not afraid to stand up and say they're full of it.
This, Moore's first book, stands as his best to date. While "Stupid White Men" and "Dude, Where's My Country" tended to get more then a little preachy on certain subjects...this finds him tackling everything from NAFTA, Pat Buchanan, various Militia groups, to the Bush family, and OJ...tongue super-glued in cheek. His 'dueling' chapters "OJ is Innocent" & "OJ is Guilty" will leave more then a few people confused as to his true opinion on the subject. Which i think was the point.
The sections i enjoyed most, are the ones where Moore more then tries to take a humorous take on some serious, and not so serious subjects. His forbidden love for Hillary Clinton, Pat Buchanan cashing a check from "The John Wayne Gacey Fan Club", and my personal favorite, how Steve Forbes is actually an alien. It's when Moore (as so often happen in his later books)begins to get preachy and holier then thou on certain topics, that he looses some of his punch.
There are many people who just don't get what Michael Moore has to say. But he definitely makes you think and question what you're hearing/seeing/reading. and regardless of what you may think about his views...discussion can only be a good thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Relevance, Anyone?
Despite this being over a decade old, it's stark relevance actually shocked me given the current economy. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Athena Dykman
5.0 out of 5 stars How we're living now......
The valuable work Michael Moore does forms the visuals that were once used by network news shows like 60 Minutes and Nightline to highlight the "consumer graft" that took... Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just Read It
Everyone should this no matter whatside your on.
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1.0 out of 5 stars hipocrate
Hey, is it just me, or is Michael Moore a fat, rich white guy?
Published on July 11 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Another shining example
"Downsize This" gets down to the nitty gritty behind the infamous downsizing and outsourcing of jobs in the US. Read more
Published on July 5 2004 by Gamal M.F. Aly II
5.0 out of 5 stars More Moore!!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Communist Manifesto
A great book for all those people who blame others for their shortcomings. Written in an elementary school style for 12 year olds. Read more
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4.0 out of 5 stars First Moore book
This is Michael Moore's first book after being a documentary maker before. Of all the three Moore books this is the most about American issues and hardly any foreign policy things. Read more
Published on May 13 2004 by M. Buisman
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, Great for Those Who Aren't Even Fans of Moore
I am a Republican and as such sometimes think Michael Moore oversteps his bounds as a 'documentary maker', one who is supposed to let the subjects speak on camera- and not himself,... Read more
Published on April 9 2004 by Mattie
1.0 out of 5 stars Downsize Michael Moore!
Everytime he even opens his mouth -- let alone writes another "book" or makes another "movie" -- Michael Moore only proves that he's the Limbaugh of the left; or, at best, he's... Read more
Published on March 20 2004 by Kevin Bold
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