America listens to Jim Hightower. More than eighty thousand people subscribe to The Hightower Lowdown Newsletter while his radio show is aired on more than sixty public and commercial radio stations.
In They’ve Stolen Our Country and It’s Time To Take It Back, he takes on the Bushites, the Wobblycrats, and the corporate Kleptocrats, digging up behind-the-scenes dirt that the corporate media overlooks-like BushCo’s “Friday Night Massacres,” what’s happened to our food, and the Bush plan for empire. But the book also offers grassroots solutions, drawing on Hightower’s Rolling Thunder Down-Home Democracy Tour, a traveling festival of rebellion against every tentacle of the corporate-politico power grab. At kitchen tables all over America, Hightower has tapped into the thriving activist networks that are our country’s grassroots muscle, and his book tells their uplifting stories of retaking control of their communities. This is the real America that the rest of the world doesn’t get to see.
With his unique blend of wit and outrage, Jim Hightower “lights a prairie fire”-and it’s just the spark that his growing national audience craves.Author, populist, and radio commentator Jim Hightower is nothing if not direct. In Thieves in High Places, Hightower lambastes the current American power structure and exhorts his readers to fight against it. Hightower’s indignation runs deep in this “us versus them” exposé of corporate malfeasance, governmental abuse, the militarization of American society, and the Bush administration’s empire building. In the first part of the book, Hightower illustrates how the Bush administration and Congress work with major corporations (including our nation’s vast media conglomerates) to add to their obscene wealth at the expense of America’s working class, our environment, and (most lamentably) our rights and liberties. “The elites have pulled off a slow-motion coup, radically wrenching America’s power balance from a people’s democracy to Kleptocrat Nation.”
Hightower defines “Kleptocrat Nation” as “a body of people ruled by thieves…a government characterized by the practice of transferring money and power from the many to the few…[and] a ruling class of moneyed elites that usurps liberty, justice, sovereignty, and other, democratic rights from the people.” His catalogue of corporate greed and governmental complicity is breathtaking in scope, and though he admits that the fusion of business and government is not new, he persuasively states that “never have so few done so much for so few.” Unfortunately, Hightower’s serious message is delivered in such a “down home” style, it may lose its impact on the more brainy among us. Also, one wishes there were more documentation for the copious examples and facts in the book. Still, Hightower’s call to action is sincere, and his descriptions of the triumphs of average people over corporate power might give some fledgling activists some hope. Thieves in High Places urges Americans to reclaim control of our government–Hightower thinks we can with community organization and grass-roots movements. However, judging from his description of the current power structure, we are going to need all the help we can get. — Silvana Tropea
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