Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Steal This Book

Steal This Book Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This seemed like a book that I should have read, just because of its role in history. It began with some radical content, discussing how to survive on very little money, and the theory behind this. I enjoy reading of the schemes and scams he proposes, but I have ethical conflicts with their being carried out. Hoffman provides great resources such as inexpensive simple recipes, and lists of organizations and societies that may or may not be outdated. Some of what he suggests has been nullified by the dawn of the internet, and when he begins to suggest violence and ways to create bombs and weapons, I begin to understand why his book has been banned in many places. At the end he provides a section about several major cities (f*** Chicago, f*** New York, f*** San Francisco) and tells where in these cities to acquire goods and services for little to no money. Much of this, I trust, is outdated, but I really appreciate the spirit of the thing.

Also, maybe what bothers me most is the justification for shoplifting. It is clear that Hoffman is never trying to screw over a brother, as he always suggests leaving generous tips when pulling a dine-and-dash or whatever other scam he has devised. He claims that it is required of one to shoplift, as this "loss" is built into the price of the item.

Indeed, stores do set aside money for loss and damage, but at least in Wal*Mart, where everyone feels most justified shoplifting from, your Free-99 purchase has just taken money out of the pocket of everyone else in the store.

All of the money left over from the Wal*Mart loss pool is divided among the employees as a bonus. You, by stealing from Wal*Mart, are stealing from the people greeters, the cashiers, the old man back in lawn & garden.

But perhaps Abbie Hoffman was never aware of this sort of thing.

View all my reviews.

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