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The Army of the Republic: A Novel

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  224 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
"One of the first works of art with the courage to live up to our historical moment. Brilliant, terrifying, and much too close for comfort."--Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo

In a revolutionary America at the edge of our imagination, two men face off in a struggle for the future. On one side is Lando, a twenty-something urban guerilla whose obsession w
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Picador (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 401)
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Feb 07, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the past two years I've been seriously thinking about what American working people might do if the government allows employers to destroy labor unions and cancel pension obligations. I've been entertaining fantasies of assassination teams, composed of unemployed and retired auto workers, picking off high-profile CEOs and high government officials. The world of The Army of the Republic features unrestrained capitalism and a Bush-like corporate government busily going after the few freedoms re ...more
S. Wilson
Dec 10, 2008 S. Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stuart Archer Cohen’s new novel is, to say the least, polarizing. His world view and philosophical outlook inform both the message and the tone of the book. So, needless to say, some readers are not going to be pleased with what they find between the covers. But, if you can put your firm and unwavering convictions aside and allow this tale of dictatorship and dissent to speak to you, you might actually enjoy the ride.

One way in which the book will not change some minds is through the hyper-reali
Nov 26, 2008 J.C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to J.C. by: Amazon Vine Program
Shelves: arc, 2008-reads
Project Mayhem on Steroids

I don't know where to start. I was completely blown away by this book. Army of the Republic is similar to Fight Club, only bigger, grander, and more organized. Everything in Fight Club is in this book, with the biggest difference being the other viewpoints in a revolution.

While reading, we follow along from the first person viewpoints of a militant, a civil protest organizer, and a CEO. I am normally not a big fan of first person, but Cohen does it with such style and
Nancy Ellis
Aug 09, 2013 Nancy Ellis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not your run of the mill conspiracy/espionage/suspense thriller. No matter what your viewpoint (patriot, environmentalist, political activist, etc.), you're a part of this incredibly realistic, believable, horrifying picture of the US in the not too distant future. Mr. Cohen has captured every aspect of turmoil and unrest festering in this country and has managed to weave it all together to produce a masterpiece that leaves you shaking in your boots because it's so darn hit-the-nail-on-t ...more
Jun 08, 2009 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting read. One part Sinclair Lewis' classic dystopic novel, "It Can't Happen Here" and one part Rage Against the Machine. Maybe with a bit of Dan Brown apocolyptic tension (minus the religious conspiracy groups) thrown in. It was definitely a quick read. Lots of high tension and suspense. The author writes from the perspective of three characters all in the first person tense. Unique and makes it personal, but not believable. It also became tedious to try and guess whose persp ...more
Bill Gray
Oct 27, 2008 Bill Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book struck me as a 21st Century update of Edward Abbey's "The Monkey Wrench Gang," set in the Pacific Northwest rather than the deserts of the southwest. It combines good storytelling with a chilling eye for current political trends. It's a disturbing story that could be set in the year 2013 after "four more years of Bush." My greatest regret is that it hasn't been required reading for anyone casting a vote in October or November of 2008.
Al Swanson
Not what I expected - and that's a good thing. What did I expect? An anti government, pro "patriot" 2nd revolution or civil war story - and I was looking for that! While I started out with my political beliefs leaning pretty far right (I used to joke I was so right wing I couldn't make a left turn), the neo cons came along and destroyed what I - and I believe - and most people thought of when you said conservative.
I also began to see so much of what is wrong with the concept (since that is all
Jul 30, 2015 Jay rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I abandoned this book because I can't stand reading books featuring blatant author self-insertion. The plot of this book is interesting, and Cohen occasionally writes some clever action scenes, but the protagonist is a frustratingly bland one-dimensional mouthpiece for his political beliefs.
Apr 06, 2014 Darin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stuart Archer Cohen delivers a modern-day update of Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here. The Army of the Republic is a leftist militant group who have recently escalated their violent revolt against the corporatist, right-wing government, all the way to murdering CEOs. Clearly, whether or not you like this book will depend on your politics.

The characters don't get developed fully, instead presenting themselves as stock oligarchs, stereotypical anarchists and conflicted family members. The writ
Mar 30, 2012 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-fun-fiction
There was a lot to like about this book. There was excitement, a (albeit a bit contrived) love story, Oedipal troubles, assassination, and even the occasional good giggle.

The story is essentially about a young revolutionary trying to stop the world from ending thanks to corporate greed; his love interest, another young revolutionary who is the Martin Luther King to his Malcolm X; and a corporate Big Wig, who is determined to see the privatization of all water throughout the country. As things u
May 22, 2010 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
Daaaaang. That was my first response upon finishing The Army of the Republic. This story here is angering, creepy, scary, and thought-provoking at the same time. One might go so far as to suggest that if, at the end of the book, you're not mad, then you might want to revisit.

I admit, it took me a long time to get through this book. I'd pick it up, read it, put it down, take it to work, read it on lunch, read it in the waiting room, cart it around, and finally finished it. This isn't a negative r
Jul 25, 2011 Alfredo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very scary book. While it is definitely tilted to a leftist view of America, it is undeniable that some of the scenarios it presents are very plausible.

The book takes place around a series of events in Seattle in a near future America where government corruption and corporate power have alienated people who now organize into either social protestors or armed guerrilla groups.

While the book is an exciting thriller, it also brings up some intriguing ideas about how the unholy alliance b
Chanelle Berlin
It took me about 100 pages to really get into the thrust of this story, when the writing finally started exploring the ways three main POVs overlapped and why beyond the surface. When I picked this up, I expected it to be more entrenched in a modern American revolution, but in actually this is about a series of events that sparks one.

Interestingly, the characters I liked the most and wanted to know a lot more about were not the three protagonists. Instead, I would love, love, love to read more
James Dixon
Jun 04, 2013 James Dixon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full Disclosure: I really, really wanted to not like this book. Given that I'd started clumsily stabbing out my own 'dystopian near-future' novel when I came across this, drawing on very similar themes, I was really hoping that it would be bad.
Like, jaw-dropping, balls-to-the-wall rubbish, so that I could at least continue with my own, safe in the knowledge that, whilst it might not be completely original, or even that good, it was still slightly better than this.

So, anyways, imagine my disappo
David Maine
Jun 11, 2011 David Maine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Army of the Republic is a book about a near-future dystopia that focuses on trends in contemporary media and domestic politics to gain much of its force. There are three main characters, and their stories intertwine in surprising and satifying ways, but for many readers much of the interest will lie in the social environment, which bears eerie similarities to our own: the Fox News-like commentators, the corporations who control vital resources (in this case, water), the privatized police for ...more
Sep 24, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in revolutions
The Army of the Republic is definitely an important novel to read. As it says on the cover, read it while it's still fiction. In this work of fiction, America's economy has collapsed and big companies are buying up even city water supplies to make a sizable profit. The USA is ripe for revolution as the people get poorer and large companies get richer. Some groups are hoping for revolution through non-violent protest. However, the Army of the Republic feels the need for a show of force -- murderi ...more
Sep 12, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was blown away by the accuracy of this book. Knowing it was written five years ago, I was very impressed with the way the author depicted the media in the book. It seemed like it could have been written today. This man might have a crystal ball. I enjoyed this book from start to finish and I thought the way the author moves between first person views was an interesting way to tell the story.
I would give this book five stars, but I almost stopped reading the book when one of the characters said
Daniel Cunha
Dec 30, 2010 Daniel Cunha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, and was surprised that I did. I feared before engaging that it would be more pamphlet than literature, that it could go overboard and fanatical to a point that just wouldn't be intellectually stimulating. Well, it isn't, and it didn't. The book is fun too read, well constructed and with very rounded out characters. interesting and informative on the state of the ecology discussions (or confrontations) in western society, and as close as we get understanding the struct ...more
Jul 10, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very hesitant to post a review about this book, but I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would at the first, so I decided to go ahead and do it.
The feeling of foreboding I got while reading it was very similar to The Road, although the Road was a far superior book. The characters are up against odds that let you know from the outset, this is not going to turn out well.
My one major complaint with the book was the juvenile dialogue. Not that the ideas were juvenile, but the way
Oct 11, 2015 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't get into this one at all, I loved "17 Stone Angels" by this author, but this one I hit the eject button after 40-50 pages. Disappointed. I will, however, try "Invisible World," may be more up my alley.
Sep 19, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It's a system that only anoints the corrupt and the pliable, and if you want to be Jesus Christ, you're going to sitting all by lonesome in the Senate cafeteria" (Cohen 187).

Martin Streetman
May 13, 2009 Martin Streetman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hippies and the man
Shelves: read-2009
I'm not sure what I thought this book would be when I picked it up. I was thinking a dark cyberpunk story of the future part blade runner part dark angel. What I got was all that and more, not a pretty picture. If I could sum it all up it would be that it is way to close to home, and by home I mean the here and now. It is really a story about protesters of one kind or another, the media, the government, the corporations. Good interplay of characters, not a happy ending. Set mostly in Seattle so ...more
Steven A Williams
An important book to read and learn from in today's broken society. Sobering, terrifying, brilliant!
James Tyson
Jul 28, 2016 James Tyson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this.

This is our future if we elect Trump.
Mar 24, 2010 Sebastian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One HUGE plus about this book, it gives an a fairly in depth look at nonviolent movements/tactics, which I thought was very cool and enlightening. But Cohen drops you into a United States basically on the brink of civil war with almost no explination. Although he flushes it out a bit more the country's situation comes off as a bit forced. The character's and their relationships are a bit stale and predictable (come on, Lando has daddy issues, seriously?)and end up being a bit boring. A fun read ...more
Sep 20, 2011 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to give this book a higher four-star rating but because the end, or LACK of ending, disappointed me and pissed me off so much I just can't. Amazing writing, had me ignoring my boyfriend for a couple days so I could get this read. But I am so sick and tired of script and movie writers who think this "no ending" is an actual ending. Did he forget the whole "resolution" aspect of a story that we're taught in elementary school?!

Exhilaration read! If you can deal with the cop out ala The Myst
Steven Jr.
Jan 18, 2012 Steven Jr. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The end was predictable, and the politics slanted heavily left and green, but in the end, the characters made it worth the read. The feel is very dark and gritty, almost to the point of noir infused with the romanticism of a revolutionary. Cohen does a good job of compelling the reader to push forward, turn the page, and hone in on the resolution. He also does a good job of attempting to not make those that he disagrees with out to be complete idiots. All in all, a solid, well-written book.
Kourosh Farrokhzad
An enjoyable read but I can't help but feel that Cohen has missed a golden opportunity here. I was disappointed by what I would consider to be a traditional, if not cliched, storyline and stereotypical characters that were more often than not two-dimensional ideologues. I'm glad I read Army as it is topical and in a rare category of fiction or even science-fiction. I just wish it went a bit further,
while it gets a bit bogged down in the nitty gritty details of politics, both radical and corporate, the premise is certainly timely. perhaps more so pre-election, but time will tell. well-created characters and the underlying theme of "pictures vs. words" is fascinating. it makes one think about some really difficult questions pertaining to our current media situation.
Tight writing and a fast pace, but the final chapter veers off and the ending just sorta happens without a full resolution. The first person narrative gets wonky when it jumps between three characters but once you understand that they're all inter-related in slightly makes sense though it would have been better if there were some writing and tone changes to differentiate.
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Invisible World (Reganbooks/HarperCollins 1998)
The Stone Angels (Orion, 2003)
The Army of the Republic (St. Martin's Press, Sept 2008)

Born Cincinnati 1958.
Walnut Hills High School
Johns Hopkins Univ.
Columbia University, 1981
Moved to Juneau, Alaska 1982
Opened Invisible World, 1985 (Wool and Alpaca)
China, 1991, (Cashmere and Silk.)
Closed Invisible World, 1996
Published first novel, Invisible World, 199
More about Stuart Archer Cohen...

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“As he ducked out into the rain, I had a notion that filled me with fresh resolve, even though I knew that the same notion had crushed a million hearts before mine and would go on crushing them as long as anyone tries to rescue a person or a country or anything else that's valuable and endangered. I thought, I can save this man.” 1 likes
“In that moment, I understand the way that the noblest yearning for duty and sacrifice can be mixed up with all that is savage and shameful, like in the Bible, where a just and merciful God tells you to kill everyone, kill the children, kill the livestock, kill John Polling, leave nothing alive to sully this pure and just world. Except when it's all done you find out that wasn't really God after all, just some politician, or maybe it was God, but he taps you on the shoulder and says, 'No, dude, that isn't what I meant,' and leaves you sitting in a Dairy Queen in Bothell with blood on your hands and no further orders...” 1 likes
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