- Hardcover: 278 pages
- Publisher: Crown; Abridged edition edition (Sept. 3 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 051770739X
- ISBN-13: 978-0517707395
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 476 g
- Average Customer Review: 128 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #703,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Downsize This!: Random Threats from an Unarmed American Hardcover – Sep 3 1996
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Until now, Michael Moore has preferred to potshot at corporate America by means of film ("Roger & Me") and television ("TV Nation"). In Downsize This! he resorts to the printed page, and as usual, the results are acerbic and irresistibly amusing. Moore aims his broadsides at such deserving targets as Washington lobbyists, institutional racism, and a rogue's gallery of overcompensated CEOs. He also lets his hair down sufficiently to discuss "My Forbidden Love for Hillary Clinton," and to argue that O.J. Simpson was too stupid, rich, and unenterprising to be guilty. Righteous indignation is seldom this funny.
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.
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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.
"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!). Moore lays it all down to Congress (this book should be mandatory Political Science literature) with 2 horse Presidential elections and the candidates which are mostly artificial corporate creations - demands voting for - working class INDEPENDANTS instead - To lobby for a stop in the massive tax welfare breaks that corporations get (the government gives them millions) for things like office parties while the poor go hungry - Companies have blown whopping stacks of cash (The Orange Country Crash) getting the tax payer to PAY IT ALL BACK FOR THEM - the next time South-Central LA wants to riot they should just travel up that road a bit further and trash Beverly Hills instead of their own yards! (He even draws them a map) - or how about the old German tourists and their retired relatives that are being murdered in Florida as payback for the Holocaust (yikes!!) To be honest he goes a little over the top at times with that chapter but Moore makes some decent points like - Why where the Holocaust survivors not given back considerable parts of Germany and how politicians may have endorsed the Middle Eastern conflicts with the move to Israel. I would not however say that Moore gives a good history lesson there by any means but the questions raised are good ones to ask.
He gives a lot of pages to Clinton saying how Bill could have been a miracle for America but messed it up badly and shows how. Then we get several pages of corporate crook trading cards. The Unions are not left unscathed. Moore calls them the most stupid people in society for letting corporate America get away with so much right under their noses. The best part of the book though is when Mike uncovers how prisons are been built in places where workers have been fired (downsizing) because the crime rate in that area goes up with unemployment. Guess what the prisoners are doing in the prison for labour? Doing the same job before they where fired for only 5% of the pay! Moore talks about abortion issues and women's rights. An interesting rant if you take the time to remember that we do not want to go back to the old days of $10 coat hanger back alley surgery. Moore has a bash at the military industrial complex with the failures in Cuba and the lost cloud the weapons makers where in when the Soviet Union didn't want to play anymore. He then goes on to tell us that O.J is innocent (lists some very interesting facts) but does not really convince us in the end - however he does get the point across - it is not really about O.J but the corruption of the LA police that is more shocking. He then talks about mentally ill members of congress and how he has actually tried to have them committed to psychiatric hospitals. These are just the facts.
Moore then proceeds to harass Bob Dole about his war-injured hand that he hides in public. This chapter does not make much sense but yet again Dole has been bought out by the various lobby groups and has pretty much voted against a number of policies that would have made the average American life better in favour of brown envelopes under the table. To Moore's credit he calls on Mandela to help end apartheid in America and makes a good case for it given that there are some incredibly scandalous statistics with infant mortality rates in certain parts of America when compared to Africa. Mike ends his book by setting out various policies that he would like to see put into action as soon as possible and asks everyone to help him help the average man by trying to do A,B,C,D...
Again this is not the best Moore book for those who followed in the wake of Bowling for Columbine but if you really want to know what's up with corporate America, "Downsize This" is mandatory reading... especially for politicians.
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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