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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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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Relevance, Anyone? March 17 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite this being over a decade old, it's stark relevance actually shocked me given the current economy. He exposes, again, the absolutely disturbing lack of readiness of many of today's politicians and businesses when it comes to fixing and supporting the economy, as well as taking any responsibility for the millions of lives overturned.
As usual, it comes with Michael Moore's classic sarcastic humor, with a touch of a natural anger we all share at times and is well supported, giving us perspectives both new and familiar. If you're curious about the pattern of economic collapse on a small or worldwide level, it's worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Conservatives really need to get a sense of humor June 12 2002
Regardless of whether you're liberal, conservative, centrist, or nonpolitical, you must agree that this book is hilarious. How can you not laugh when Pat Buchanan, America's self-proclaimed moral crusader, accepts a campaign check from the John Wayne Gacy Fan Club? Or when Moore suggests that we forget about Senators and simply vote for our favorite lobbyists?
Moore guides us through the landscape of the American political and economic system, with one chapter devoted to each major issue. Although he maintains the humorous tone throughout the book, he also presents plenty of solid information of the sort that you won't hear about in the "mainstream" media. For instance, in one chapter he lists the gigantic government handouts that have been given to America's multi-billionaire "corporate welfare mothers". Moore is at his best when skewering the hypocrisy of conservative corporatists (i.e. those who brag about their patriotism while sending our jobs to Mexico.)
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You may want to read journalist Michael Moore's book DOWNSIZE THIS just for the chapter entitled "O.J. Is Innocent." That passage is a sobering reminder of how the news media selectively reports facts. If all of white America could read Mr. Moore's take on O.J. Simpson, many would agree the ex-football star deserved to beat the double-murder rap.
DOWNSIZE THIS comprises Mr. Moore's take on many other controversial issues. His insights on U.S.-Cuba relations; the state of black America; former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton; corporate America's massive job exports; and the lookalike Republican and Democratic parties will widen your eyes, crack you up, or both.
You may want the paperback version of DOWNSIZE THIS, as it offers extra text not included in the hardcover. Drawback: the hardcover photo of Mr. Moore has him wearing a "G.M. Mexico" hat; the paperback uses the author's hat for the book subtitle. DOWNSIZE THIS and G.M. Mexico - that says it all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars All depends on your political beliefs Nov. 29 1999
Like most political satires and/or commentaries, those who agree with the author's point of view will generally enjoy this funny little book. Moore exposes the corporate crimes and hypocrisy that take place in this country, but is by no means against Corporations in general or the virtues of making a profit. He just feels that corporations have gotten completely unreasonable by firing thousands of employees while profits are at a peak and leaving cities after receiving tax breaks as an incentive for staying.
The picture of the Federal building bombed in Oklahoma City is placed next to the picture of a condemned factory in Flint, Michigan after GM pulled out. The pictures are nearly identical and the imagery is extremely powerful. What exactly is terrorism, Moore asks?
Many will disagree with Moore's opinions and some will be offended by certain things in this book, especially the chapter dealing with the L.A. Riots and the O.J. Simpson case. However, I do think it's worth a read, even if you disagree, if only to reinforce your views.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch the watchdog June 28 2004
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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Most recent customer reviews
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
Published on May 7 2005 by Patricia B. Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Read It
Everyone should this no matter whatside your on.
Published on July 16 2004 by kathy a. salzman
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!!!
You gotta love these Bushies shaking in their shoes, knowing that Michael Moore HAS made an impact. If he had not, they would not be on here bashing and "reviewing" Moore... Read more
Published on July 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a lot more than just Moore.
Moore's first book is actually his political policy disguised as a very funny liberal rant about all things corporate and crooked in America. Read more
Published on June 27 2004 by OverTheMoon
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
Published on May 17 2004
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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