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The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

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3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  2,661 Ratings  ·  358 Reviews
The Founding Fathers believed that the proper goal of the State was to make men and women free to develop their faculties and to pursue virtue and wisdom. Our Constitution was built around these principles, protecting civil liberties and developing a careful system of checks and balances that protected our freedom from tyranny.

Naomi Wolf's latest work, The End of America:
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Published March 15th 2008 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2007)
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Lynn
Oct 14, 2007 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, right away
I heard Wolf speak at a local bookstore yesterday, as well as on Stephen Colbert a couple of weeks ago, and was thoroughly blown away. Then I bought the book (short, fast read) and spent most of the night reading it. Everyone should, as I did, put aside whatever they are doing, buy this book, read it, pass it on to a friend who promises to read it and pass it on. And then hit the streets.

One of the things that Wolf talked about (in person, not in the book) is that once you are familiar with the
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David Lentz
Dec 29, 2013 David Lentz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love democracy and want to see its ideals preserved, then this book offers a guide for its perpetuation. The founders of the American Constitution were so profound in their construction of democracy that they installed a series of checks and balances to power. Wolf examines history to offer a warning shot that portrays how past authoritarian and dictatorial regimes upset a democratic balance of power to enable ambitious regimes to come to oppress nations. If we are to preserve democracy, ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Nov 30, 2008 Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans who like their way of life!
I cannot give this book any less than five stars. I so greatly admire Naomi Wolf for having the courage and audacity to warn her fellow Americans about what is still happening right under their noses.

Other reviewers here have covered the details of the book, so I won't do so. It's only about 150 pages, so if you care about your rights as an American citizen, you can read for yourself. This is not an idiotic partisan rant in the manner of that Coulter cow. Wolf wants to motivate ALL Americans to
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Justin
May 27, 2008 Justin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although I agree with most of Wolfe's statements about our modern American dilemma, and was grateful that this book warns of a good portion of the grave dangers that our recent history has imparted upon the rights (or lack thereof) of the American people, this book was just flat-out not written well. The message was for the most part 3-4 stars, but I could have edited this book better in my sleep. Rife with grammatical errors and typos, this book was at times poorly enough edited to make it diff ...more
GeekChick
Oct 25, 2007 GeekChick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone afraid of Neo-Con fascism
I learned of this book when I saw Wolf on Colbert Report. The premise is that there are 10 steps a government takes to move from an open society/democracy to fascism. Guess how many are underway in America right now?

The first couple of chapters scared the hell out of me. If this is true, and if we don't take our country back soon, people with reading lists like mine will be "disappeared." I am fearful of our future.

Now that I have read about halfway through, though, I must say that I wish Wolf
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Lucius
Jan 22, 2008 Lucius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Clarion Call for Patriots, January 20, 2008


What Naomi Wolf sees in the current state of affairs in America is a "fascist shift" - a subtle (and not so subtle) erosion of our Constitutional Democracy in the post 9/11 reality of perpetual global war. It is worth noting that according to Mussolini, fascism rejects pacifism. And, as he proclaimed in a 1932 Italian Encyclopedia article, "fascism believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace..." (What is Fascism)

Wolf has
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Marcus
Mar 09, 2009 Marcus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I used to read horror stories to get myself scared. Now all you have to read is recent history. If you are like me, you have the feeling that America has changed in recent years. Feels like the government is marching to a slightly different tune than what the people desire. You also probably felt some of the things being done were wrong: aggressive interrogation, jailing reporters, use of signing statements to over Congressional rule, Guantanomo, etc.......

Naomi Wolf's book compares 2000's USA t
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Conor
Sigh.

Books like this are almost unreadable these days. I wish I had read this earlier, because I think I was woefully ignorant of the abuses and unconstitutional postures taken by the Bush administration until at least the beginning of my law school days, but the scope creep of the executive from Bush to Obama to Trump is almost too baleful to contemplate under the current administration.

In highest dudgeon I've certainly lobbed my fair share of insults at the current president. I wonder if I'l
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Matt
Mar 27, 2017 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I definitely could have used half stars here. It's a good book but it is very depressing. 2.5 presidential terms after the book was released and nothing has changed. If anything it's worse.
Ev
Dec 06, 2015 Ev rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read, and I wavered on whether to rate it 2 or 3-stars. Ultimately 2, because although what she says is valid in drawing attention to our government quickly eroding "unalienable" rights in the name of security and national integrity, Wolf rushed to draw dramatic parallel to outrageously fascist regimes.

I believe the style and pacing of the book felt like someone blowing a steady stream of hot air onto your face - it was clear she wanted her words to mirror a revolutionary pamphl
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Alex
Sep 20, 2007 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, sociology
Naomi Wolf's short, straightforward book is a warning that the prospects for fascism emerging in America are real and growing. She lays out 10 steps that governments take in order to concentrate power and stifle dissent, on the road to fascism, all of which are underway in the good ol' US of A.

1. Invoke an External and Internal Threat
2. Establish Secret Prisons
3. Develop a Paramilitary Force
4. Surveil Ordinary Citizens
5. Infiltrate Citzens' Groups
6. Arbitrarily Detain and Release Citizens
7. Targ
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Josie
Nov 05, 2008 Josie rated it really liked it
Although, much like a textbook in presentation, and perhaps sounding a bit dated, now that we are all basking in the afterglow of a historic presidential election, I still think this is a very important book for all Americans to read. First off, it reminds us that the people who established are country lived under such tyrannical rule that they would lay down their life to fight for their liberty and rights. But, these same liberties and rights can be stripped away gradually and subtly if the pe ...more
Amanda
Oct 23, 2009 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
This is a book that really gets you thinking about the rights culture we live in. It examines the US administrations approach to the Iraq war at home and abroad (I was especially intrigued by the look at the Patriot Act). I found myself thinking, how far are we willing to go for freedom? When you take security to unbelievable extremes can you really call it freedom? Is our society so consummed with a 'rights rehtoric' that we get lost in what we think we deserve?
Once I started this book I could
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Atrebs
Oct 05, 2008 Atrebs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I encourage you, regardless of political party affiliation, to pick up and read this book. It strikes a comparison between the rise to power of the dictators of the past (Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, etc.) and what she calls the "fascist shift" in American to an antidemocracy that has our founding fathers rolling in their graves. I was struck by the same stomach wrenching feelings I had while watching John Adams that our predecessors who gave their all for our freedom would be horrified by wha ...more
Book Lover
Aug 24, 2008 Book Lover rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Enjoyable read. A lesson to us all.
blakeR
A good book for a beginning liberal, but ultimately this book is long on problems and short on solutions. I mostly agreed with Wolf throughout, but lost patience with her arguments after awhile, anxious for solutions that never came. I probably should have known better just by looking at the conclusion, "A Patriot's Task," which is a whopping two pages long.

Wolf presented a lot of valuable information, and a lot of the book works well as a history lesson. Particularly enlightening and frightenin
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Tim
This is a very important book, especially for these times. Not only should every patriotic American read this, but anyone anywhere who values freedom of and for the people.

The author, without being emotive, draws on evidence from the last century, right up to last year to paint a picture of how a change in government direction can insidiously take place until almost suddenly there is a real risk of liberties being eroded and replaced with a form of dictatorship. Wolf describes this as a "fascis
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Sarah
Feb 29, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book is a well-researched, well-developed argument for the dangerous direction that America has been headed. Wolf outlines 10 steps to close an open society that have been repeated again and again throughout history. She further outlines how the US is well on its way to following these 10 steps. While she stops short of suggesting that we are headed toward a dictatorship, she points out that we are very much headed toward something less than a democracy.....something less than what our Foun ...more
Eva Aurora
Nov 11, 2008 Eva Aurora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who are concerned with what is happening in our government.
Recommended to Eva Aurora by: I saw an interview with Naomi Wolf.
Naomi Wolf outlines the ten steps that are historically followed by a government wishing to take an open society to a closed society. It is chilling as well as inspiring.
It was a chilling read because I realized to what extent I'd been asleep. I take my freedoms in this country far too much for granted, as I think most Americans do. I also don't want to believe that those we entrust with our freedoms have designs to take them away, but Wolf makes the important and historically correct point th
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Jessica
Jan 15, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This book is an absolute MUST-read for all Patriotic Americans. Frankly, I think it should be required reading for all high school students. Basically in this book, Naomi Wolf explains the basic fundamentals of our Democracy and the system of checks and balances The Founders set up to protect our government from power-hungry majorities and would-be dictators and such. She also lays out basic definitions like Democracy and Facsist and Facism (which are often misused and inaccurately defined words ...more
John
Jun 03, 2011 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Naomi Wolf writes an alarming letter to a patriot, comparing the tightening of civil liberties during the Bush administration to totalitarian regimes of the past--Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Communist China, Chile, and the Eastern Bloc countries.

I give Wolf kudos for writing the book four and a half years ago, but unfortunately things have only gotten much worse since she wrote the book, and because of that, it is a bit dated. But her central thesis is convincing. She argues there are ten st
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Julie
Feb 19, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a chilling read. Wolf describes various repressive dictatorships and then compares their practices to recent political actions. Her comparison of George Bush's flight-suit-plane-landing to a plane landing of Hitler filmed by famed propagandist Leni Riefenstahl is disturbing. Very disturbing. I don't know if I am with her 100%, but even 60% of her truth is terrifying. Simple language- simply stated. Horrifying conclusions.

And when I think think "hey we are voting the bums out!" She attac
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emily
Jan 28, 2008 emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We in America are used to a democratic social contract in which there is agreement about the rules of the game...So we keep being startled when the steps of the democratic interplay are ignored: 'He can't do that!' It's time to notice that they are playing a different game altogether."

it's frightening but important to hear the specific examples of the bush administrations' appropriation of rhetoric, language, visuals, and techniques of these regimes to close down on freedom.

wolf breaks down a
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Michael Anthony
Apr 17, 2008 Michael Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To all Americans
Naomi Wolf inspired me to read this book when I saw her on Youtube giving a lecture.

It was evident that this lady was a true patriot with a message to convey.

This book is not complicated it is straight talk.

The author took a real humanistic approach to communicate her sincerity with a layman’s platform of sustainable facts to provoke you to initiate a sense of responsible awareness of the current political climate and the true enemy of the American people---

Those on the inside whose agenda is t
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Jim
This started to get a little bit scary.

…our country - the democracy our young patriots expect to inherit - is in the process of being altered forever.

All of us - Republicans, Democrats, Independents, American citizens - have little time to repeal the laws and roll back the forces that can bring about the end of the American system we have inherited from the Founders - a system that has protect our freedom for over 200 years.

Nope. Naomi Wolf didn't write this in early 2017 at the beginning of
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Bruce Sanders
Jan 05, 2008 Bruce Sanders rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very important book. Everyone should read it. It is short, it is succinct there are no excuses not to read it. It makes clear that America is not immune to a fascist shift, in fact, we are clearly headed that way. I am not too impressed with some of the correlations of terminology, but very impressed by correlations of behavior and attitude of our current administration. Wolf makes clear that she is not talking about a move to fascism (yet) but just a shift in that direction. The book ...more
Emily
Jun 23, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, this book is a pretty liberally slanted understanding of our current political "situation". As a progressive person, I tend to agree with Wolfe's critique, but find myself looking for more than a work within the system approach. Given all the information she cites in this book (and the citations are numerous, which i commend) regarding the past present and future of fascist America you'd think she'd be calling for us to smash the state. ,Sadly all this message amounts to is a plea for a ...more
James
Jun 12, 2008 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Dead on target, alarming and infuriating. Naomi Wolf's description, in historical context, of the ongoing drive by the far right to take over America and destroy freedom should be read by every voter before the next time they vote.

As a veteran who dedicated 20 years of my life to the protection of our Constitution and as a lifelong student of history with a passionate love of the beautifully balanced system the Founders created, it disgusts me to see this work of genius attacked and endangered b
...more
Amberly
Feb 12, 2008 Amberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic and timely premise. Horrifying and thought-provoking. She is correct that U.S. citizens have gotten too lax in upholding liberty, instead ceding their autonomy to supposed 'experts' and 'professional' politicians. The Founders did not mean for their country to go to hell like it is, and we shouldn't have ultimate faith in the pendulum of justice. It takes work, maybe even revolution. Especially scary, is the 1984/Animal Farm-ish elements of thought crime and re-writing history/altering ...more
Mark
Mar 13, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Moussolini, Mao and all other 20th century dictatorial types followed the same blueprint: They invoked an internal and external threat, they established secret prisons that did not operate within the rule of law, they developed a paramilitary force, they spied on ordinary citizens, they infiltrated citizens' groups, they targeted key opponents, they restricted the freedom of the press, they cast criticism as "espionage" and dissent as "treason" and finally, they subverted ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #18 The End of America: A Letter of Warning by Naomi Wolf 1 3 May 14, 2017 02:36PM  
The End of America 2 20 Mar 07, 2013 03:37PM  
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Naomi Wolf is the author of seven books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Beauty Myth, The End of America and Give Me Liberty. She has toured the world speaking to audiences of all walks of life about gender equality, social justice, and, most recently, the defense of liberty in America and internationally. She is the cofounder of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, which te ...more
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“Here's what we're not taught [about the Declaration and Constitution]: Those words at the time they were written were blazingly, electrifyingly subversive. If you understand them truly now, they still are. You are not taught - and it is a disgrace that you aren't - that these men and women were radicals for liberty; that they had a vision of equality that was a slap in the face of what the rest of their world understood to be the unchanging, God-given order of nations; and that they were willing to die to make that desperate vision into a reality for people like us, whom they would never live to see. ” 50 likes
“Peace is bad for business. When the former Soviet Union fell apart, the U.S. defense industry was staring into the face of a falling market share: To grow, it would have to find a new enemy. It would also help if it expanded its product line from building fighter jets to the newfangled demand for applications involving surveillance.” 1 likes
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