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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  57 reviews
The Year We Failed America -- and How to Recover Her for Good

Three critical events in 1913, followed by a corresponding event in 1936, together struck a resounding blow to America’s freedom. In fact, they triggered the greatest turning point away from freedom in modern times.

What were these dangerous events? Why do so few American citizens know about them—especially since
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 2012 by Obstacles Press (first published 2012)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  749 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, life-curriculum
Yet another amazing book by Oliver DeMille. DeMille is so obviously keyed into his purpose, and his years and years of intense preparation, study, and experience allow him to deliver the message of liberty with clarity and accuracy.

The most important point I took from this book is that freedom can only exist when the people care enough to study out the issues and remain vigilant. DeMille writes:

"Another simple reality is this: When people lose their freedoms in such a system, it is always the pe
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
We often hear or read statements like "Freedom isn't free" or "We are losing our freedom." These comments are often made in articles or discussions about people serving in the military. We understand the price these brave individuals have paid. Sadly, their efforts and our consciousness of the problem have been directed by our politicians and the mainstream media toward external threats, some of which are very real. But external threats, as bad as they are, may not be the most serious attack on ...more
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Displaying an exhaustive knowledge of his subject, Oliver DeMille details four specific events in American constitutional history that have led to the serious erosion of freedom throughout the past century. More importantly, he provides clear, concrete, and feasible action steps common citizens can take to restore our freedoms.

The subject matter is timely and vital. DeMille’s insights are piercing and original. In an era of vitriolic and shallow talk-show pundits, his focus on deep, root solutio
David Garza
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow... What a fantastic book... And I read it at such a great time. This is not a Republican or Democrat book. This is a book about freedom as defined by the US Constitution and some actions that have severely hindered those freedoms in the US. Anyone who values the future of this country should definitely read this book!
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Why we have less freedoms in some ways today than our great grandparents did in their day. How power centralizes then expands to take away freedom. The 3 things that happened in 1913 that have had a huge impact on the way the federal government runs itself today and the negative impact its had on the country. When the constitution is ignored or not understood, then voting becomes about issues rather than protecting structures of freedom. A call to action and ways we can make changes. Great book! ...more
Steve Casey
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, economy
Exceptional and should be a classroom book for every high school and college kid In America. Put on your Must-read list. Oliver is a captivating speaker. Know your history and what has changed our freedom in the past 100 years and what absolutely must happen to get it back.
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the quotes he gave from a president that is not well know in history but was fighting for the things that are mentioned in this book
Jennifer Radtke
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oliver DeMille is an amazing thinker. I've read two of his books now and found that he inspires me to do better in my life and to teach my children all the things that they might be missing out on. Not that I don't already try to do that, I just never thought of focusing on the history of the things before.
This was an amazing book. The back of the book is a great teaser for what's inside, "Three critical events in 1913, followed by a corresponding event in 1936, together struck a resounding blo
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic primer on freedom in the U.S.A. and the world. since growing up listening to my dad lecture me and my siblings on finance and political science- or more on the principles behind them, I thought I had a strong foundation. I expected this book to be mostly about the Federal Reserve Bank. I was surprised to learn about 3 other simultaneous events- passage of the 16th and 17th amendments, and the United States v. Butler case. I found his formula for reclaiming freedom sound, and within r ...more
Ethan Chappell
This book talks about three events in 1913 and one in 1936 that decreased freedom in the U.S. It talks about all the things that can take away freedom and how we as individuals can help stop it. It gave some pretty good council like: getting involved in your city council and creating your own entrepreneurial community. This book also impressed me on how important the States are but that their rights have been reduced in the past decade. This book has inspired me to read the Constitution and beco ...more
Nathaniel Poppe
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wake up call to the 3 things I need to voraciously do in my life to protect and reestablish freedom for myself my family and my community that is to be a successful entrepreneur, a community leader, and a voracious reader and independent thinker. He surprise to me that Oliver DeMille said to do to maintain freedom was to read daily governmental documents that were our and yet to come. Again this was A big wake up call to keep freedom. So that we can enjoy every other good thing life h ...more
Charlie Johnson
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, america
Let me get this out of the way first: he's not wrong.

He just presents the facts in such an overly simplified and superficial manner that it's difficult to take seriously. For example quotes are not cited in the text or in footnotes. He also makes broad and sweeping statements and jumps to conclusions. For the conclusions he draws, there is significantly little time spent showing the mental work used to draw them.
Chuck Cova
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pers-prof-dev
This book opened my eyes and set me on a path to want to better understand our history, our culture, our government, where we are heading and what role I'm to play in influencing that future... ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Wow! Such a powerful book! If you are interested in understanding freedom and where our country started to move away from freedom and even how we can get it back, this is a must read.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oliver has a great ability to pinpoint the problem and offer the solution. It's up to us ...more
Diane Funk
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting concepts presented. The first 2 chapters were slow and repetitive, but once he started getting into the meat of the work it was very interesting and worth the experience.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Highly recommended. --And I cannot say that for most books that I have read handling such a subject because of the tone of the book. This one is altogether different. It is clear and concise, optimistic, yet realistic. Even though I was familiar with much of the content, it was presented in a way that brought clarity and connection in a way I have not seen before. More than that, it gives solutions. I love his expose' on how rare freedom is. We the people are the problem and the ...more
Celeste Batchelor
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm afraid I cannot do this book justice with a review. I am very thankful for the author's artful explanation of the Turning Points a hundred years ago that have led to our current debacle as a nation. I will never look at legislation the same again and feel inspired and motivated to read all historical documents and current laws. As a citizen, it is my duty to read and understand what is happening to and in our government.

DeMille explains four Turning Points that need to be reversed, giving us
Ruth Hinds
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I know I'm pretty ignorant about US History. I know enough about the Founding Fathers and the beginning of this country that I have great admiration and gratitude for the life they set up for us. But when I read things they said, and the things they believed in, I find that we are so far from what the founders had intended or hoped for. Somehow, we really messed things up. I wondered where we went wrong. Was it a gradual decline, or did something big happen in the last two hundred years that got ...more
Dave Stadel
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciated how easy it was to read, grasp the facts, and understand the underlying principles. In this book Oliver discusses the impact of three events that happened without much fanfare in 1913, and a fourth in 1936, that dramatically changed the course of freedom in America.

I believe anyone could read this book and understand it, regardless of their prior knowledge in history, political science, or civics. I also think everyone should read this book regardless of their level of inter
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This message is critical to our freedom. Most people who love freedom are only doing a few of the things it takes to retain it. We are very good at pointing our fingers at our current politicians and representatives and telling them when they are off track but we are terrible at holding ourselves accountable to the standards that maintain freedom. This book not only gives a historical background to our last Force Shift, it explains what it will take to prevent another one in the next 25 years.

Dean Mundy
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
While overstated, I believe, that four events fundamentally changed the way US government functions and made us less free, the book was good in pointing out why these events, the 16th and 17th amendments, the beginning of the Federal Reserve, and the 1936 court case mentioned, had a bearing on where America has gone in the years since.

It is also a good primer on what the Founding Fathers were thinking when they wrote certain things into the Constitution.

The book gives no quick and easy answers.
Richard Monyer
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bought, print-book
A very convicting read. It saddens me that many Americans will not read this book and those that do may just shrug off the need to change. Without a renewed mindset to diligently take steps to educate ourselves and our children on what freedom is and how to protect it; therefore instilling in them a responsibility to maintain those freedoms; I'm afraid we will continue to see our freedoms eroded as giants of power and nobility entertain themselves to death! Real solutions are in this book for th ...more
Philip Meinel
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: freedom
Oliver DeMille has provided useful insight into a major, but relatively unknown turning point in U.S. history. He explains how a few key events, which began in 1913, have led to our current national distress. DeMille also lays out practical solutions to turn our nation’s future in a positive direction. This book is a call for the American people to refocus on our founding principles, accept personal accountability, and once again, lead the world with a truly free society.
John Jinks
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Freedom Fighters, Political Activists, Concerned Citizens
Roughly every 100 years we either go througfh a Freedomshift or a Forceshift, we either see more freedom or we see more force. The last shift occured in 1913 and unfortunately it was a Forceshift. This book outlines details of the last shift, and gives details on how we can make sure the next shift is a Freedomshift.

A very well-written and highly detailed book for those who want to understand freedom.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it
My favorite quote from 1913 (p. 120): Individual initiative, in the long run, is a firmer reliance than bureaucratic supervision...We do not need more knowledge; we need more character. We do not need more government; we need more culture. We do not need more law; we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen; we need more of the things that are unseen...If the foundation be firm, the superstructure will stand." Calvin Coolidge, The Price of Freedom ...more
Marc Page
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental
After reading 1913, I realized many people, including myself, would vote without enough context to make an informed decision. If we don't know where we came from, we lose the context in which we are voting.

1913 explains how we got here and gives suggestions on actions we can take to make our country a free nation.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great synopsis of the biggest erosion of our freedom in the last 100 years. We are at the point in our nation's history where all of the other great civilizations collapsed. This book details the reasons we are losing our freedom and, most importantly, identifies the three things we can all do to restore and preserve freedom for the next generation. ...more
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing insight and detail into how America has changed ... and declined. Although most people, I feel, would consider that America is in a downhill turn, they are unclear as to why or how we got here. This book does an excellent job explaining why and how to undo. Glad to call myself an entrepreneur.
David Madden
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I liked how the book was broken into two sections. The first was an easy to read history of America, while the second was a practical guide that people can undertake to protect freedoms. This book was able to articulate what freedom is and what to look out for in political discussions. I would be happy to recommend it.
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Oliver DeMille is the founder and former president of George Wythe University, a founding partner of The Center for Social Leadership, and the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century.

As a university student, Oliver went on a search for a truly great education — experiencing private and public universities, technical and religious schools, corpo

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“In the post-Butler system, in order to meet the desired federal spending, taxes are raised, and debts, deficits, and government spending balloon. When these traditional sources of money fail, the government simply prints more money through the Federal Reserve. This inflates our fiat currency, distorts the natural ups and downs of the business cycle and recessions, and increases the divide between the wealthy (who store their wealth in non-fiat assets) and the middle and lower classes.” 0 likes
“When the protection of freedom is left to a few officials, it is always lost.” 0 likes
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