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Up In Arms: How The Bundy Family Hijacked Federal Lands, Outfoxed the Federal Government, and Ignited America's Patriot Militia Movement
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Up In Arms: How The Bundy Family Hijacked Federal Lands, Outfoxed the Federal Government, and Ignited America's Patriot Militia Movement

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  37 reviews
“IT’S TIME! They have my cattle and now they have one of my boys. Range War begins tomorrow at Bundy Ranch.”

These words, pounded out on a laptop at Cliven Bundy’s besieged Nevada ranch on April 6, 2014, ignited a new American revolution. Across the country, a certain type of citizen snapped to attention: This was the flashpoint the they’d been waiting for, a chance to help
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by BenBella Books
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Start your review of Up In Arms: How The Bundy Family Hijacked Federal Lands, Outfoxed the Federal Government, and Ignited America's Patriot Militia Movement
Jul 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Became the guiding light? Who the heck are you kidding? They ravaged an ancient Native American depository. Tossed them around like skittles. All those barstards cared about was, what can we get. That's it. They rented land. Not free land. Government owned, let your livestock graze and pay a minimal fee. Minimal. Take it to your own land, and try to pay for their feed, and you'll go broke. See, I may be a democrat, but that minimal fee you should be paying, goes back into land development and re ...more
Valerity (Val)
I really didn’t expect to like this book, but I was drawn into it and read it right through. It’s quite a saga about a ranch family in Nevada that’s been on the land for generations and gets into a dispute with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over their cattle being on protected land, as it has been forever. It turns out that 80% of Nevada at that time controlled by the government, either part of a park or under BLM. Hard to believe. It gets pretty involved so I won’t go into the particulars ...more
Hollee Temple
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Obviously I have a personal connection to this book, but even if you don't, I believe the meticulous reporting and expert storytelling will blow you away. Consider this early review by Anthony Swofford, bestselling author of Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles: “With Up in Arms, John Temple delivers another fierce and searching portrait of an American sub-culture. His last book, American Pain, opened up the vault on painkiller pill mills, delivering a prescient harbin ...more
Randal White
An excellent examination of the "Sagebrush Rebellion" that is occurring today in the western United States. The author tells the story through the eyes of the Bundy family, ranchers in Nevada.
Some ranchers/farmers/citizens of the western states are rebelling against the fact that the U.S. Government owns a huge portion of the land in these states. For example, in Nevada, the Federal Government owns 85% of the land. The land is controlled by various National Parks, National monuments, Wilderness
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Cliven Bundy and 2 of his older sons Ammon & Ryan
started a range war in Nevada.

The US government owned 80% of Nevada's land.
The US Park Service used some, as did the US military.
The US, via the Bureau of Land Mgt (BLM), charged
grazing rights for cattle and other ranchers. Cliven
stopped paying this charge. He owned BLM $350K
but over 20 yrs, with interest and penalties, It came
to $1M. The case went to federal court. BLM estimated
Cliven owned 900 head of cattle.

Cliven mixed his Mormon belief
Ellen Gail
I’m basically in the worst reading slump of recent memory (thanks a lot, 80 hour work weeks.) So I’m setting this aside for hopefully another day, when I’ll pick it back up and feel the same spark I felt in the beginning.

Thanks to Edelweiss and BenBella books for the drc!
C. S.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I approach news stories about militia movements, survivalists, and sovereign citizens with the same fascination some people have for cults. I was too young to be consciously aware of Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the Oklahoma City Bombing, but I knew enough for those names to infuse me with nameless dread well before I found out what they actually meant. They hold a uniquely 90s sort of grunge dystopia, so when in 2014 some rancher who didn't want to pay his due held the nation breathless and those fami ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This fascinating read that raises serious questions about America. A true story involving Tasers, hand guns, rifles, medieval broad swords, Cowboys and Youtubers, spies and double agents, and murder. A car chase in a National Park, gun fights, and roadside press conferences, surveillance helicopters, ATV's and pickup trucks. Who are these people who turned back the government with force, and walked free in court? How could this happen? There is so much more behind the “armed trespasser” narrativ ...more
John Marricco
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting book to read. I kept shaking my head in disbelief of some of the things I read. We truly live in a very crazy world now.
Colleen DeHart
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit when I first heard of the topic of this book I wasn't very excited. Nothing about this screamed something I wanted to read. But, when I saw that John Temple had written it I thought it was worth a chance. His past books have always been so well-researched, engaging, and frankly very eye-opening to parts of our world that I knew about but didn't really KNOW. Sticking with his knack for the written word, this story grabbed me just a few pages in and kept my attention throughout. I ...more
W. Whalin
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
An Inside Look at Issues Behind the News

I had read a little about the Bundy family and the Patriot Militia Movement in the newspaper before reading UP IN ARMS but knew few details or background. John Temple is a storyteller and pulls the reader into the drama and lives of the key people in these stories.

Like any reader, I tested this book with a chapter or two. Temple’s excellent writing pulled me into the book and I was hooked—and read to the end of the book. In the back of the book, Temple do
Cristie Underwood
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
The author's painstaking research and attention to detail is obvious in the writing of this book. There were many facts that I only discovered after reading this! ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
It can be hard to understand a point of view that is very different than yours. The Bundys, who lead two different events where they tried to "take down" the Bureau of Land Management, have a very specific interpretation of the Constitution that makes them believe the Federal Government cannot legally own land. This is at the core of their civil disobedience.

This book made their background and beliefs clear, and details the standoff at the Bundy Ranch and the occupation of the Malheur Refuge. It
Cathy Bonnstetter
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
John Temple delivers both a beautifully written narrative and thought provoking prose with “Up In Arms.” With characters that are carefully drawn and multidimensional, he takes his readers into a world of government defiance defined by both political and religious dogma and fueled by the internet.
He lets his readers try to understand the motivation of this group of interesting and colorful characters, as well as the people who were tasked with squelching their cause. Are the Bundys and their fo
Beth Livingstone
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I felt my own values "rattling around," seeking their fit in the landscape. Definitely worth reading. ...more
Nancy Kennedy
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I remember the Bundy Ranch standoff only vaguely. I read a few articles about it, but mostly skipped over the whole incident thinking it had nothing to do with me or my part of the country. Just another bunch of wackos like those in Waco, I thought. But John Temple has changed all that for me.

Mr. Temple has written a page-turning account of the "range wars" that simmer between ranchers and the federal government. Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher, ignited a tense standoff with the Bureau of Land Ma
Laura Piercy
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.  I was an instant fan of John Temple after reading American Pain (about the opioid crisis), and though it may not seem so, this topic is JUST AS relevant in today's society.  It's a fascinating story - and written with such detail and impartiality.  It's frightening to think that the events described therein may have inspired others to take the law - and others' lives - into their own hands.  My favorite quote: "Paranoia and anger are contagious, and when they're fed by misinf ...more
James Robert
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I opened this book. The Bundy family saga had seemingly passed a year or two back, and while the occasional fact still bounced around in my brain, what I remembered most were the images. Men and women gave weathered looks from under Stetson hats, gave speeches in front of American flags, and gazed at the horizon from horseback. In flannel shirts they brandished pistols or could be seen pointing and giving orders at a makeshift camp. Officers in tactical g ...more
Shawn Mcclearn
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Gonzo Western featuring idealistic ranchers, overzealous federal agents, and a cast of alt-right wild cards. And it's all true.

The federal government never planned on owning vast swaths of land in the American west but no one else wanted it, so they wound up making it their own. This was fine, for a while, but then the post-WWII era saw a surge in population growth in states like Nevada. Ranchers like Cliven Bundy suddenly found themselves dealing with a federal Bureau of Land Management (a br
Marc Pressley
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction
Temple does a yeoman's job in presenting a nuanced look at the range wars and the ascension of patriot/sovereign rights movement in the west. Hindsight being 20/20, I'm wondering if the US attorneys aren't kicking themselves. Yes, criminal trespassing would have been a lesser charge, but unlike the various conspiracy charges, that would have passed muster with a jury. Instead, it looked like the prosecutors were playing right into the patriot narrative of an overreaching government.

This is a goo
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Up in Arms is an even-handed, exhaustive look at the travails of the Bundy family in their disputes with the federal government over land rights. The dispute ultimately attracts the Patriot Movement and details other similar conflicts that involve the Bundy’s. It’s a compelling well-researched book that really lets the reader draw their own conclusions, and gives us an insight into the whole issue. I was given an ARC by the publisher through @NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Chelsea Downey
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I got this book free from the Amazon Vine program back in 2019. After four years at the University of Wyoming, I thought I had an idea of the West's dislike for the federal government. This book showed me how little I'd scratched the surface.

Down in Texas I had vaguely heard of the Bundy family's standoff and the issues surrounding their beef (sorry, pun intended) with the Bureau of Land Management. As well, finishing this book in 2020 puts the acronym "BLM" in a very different light.

Anyway, the
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Book! Well researched and presented in an approachable style that illustrates the challenges facing ranchers in the West. The author spins the struggles, personalities and beliefs of the ranchers into a non-fiction book that reads less like a newspaper and more like a novel. Through John Temple's engaging writing, I came to appreciate why the ranchers fought hard to communicate their message and wonder if the events could have been avoided had their been some difficult but insightful c ...more
Jim Tracy
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
John Temple has done it again. Up In Arms is another interesting topical story much like his previous book American Pain. In Up In Arms, Temple gives us a front-row seat to the rise of a Patriot militia movement. This one led by the compelling Bundy clan led by patriarch Cliven Bundy and his thirteen children and numerous friends. It's a reminder of "where there's government, there is not freedom." ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I appreciated the depth of research shown here. Mr. Temple has written an engrossing book about a frightening situation (from all perspectives - anarchy vs. Gov’t overreach). There are many layers to delve through and the author does an admirable job of sifting through the events and personalities involved. All in all, a frightening situation on all levels.
My thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for my honest review.
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book chronicles the events surrounding the 2014 Bundy standoff in Nevada and the 2016 Bundy-led occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. It does not take sides nor detail the reasoning behind positions for or against the Bundy cause. And the book does not attempt to provide a compendium of information enabling the reader to assess any position or support armchair adjudication. But making those assessments and passing judgment is tempting fruit to the reader.

I found a co
Stephanie Kerr
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Can the federal government legally own land in the states? Is it lawful for the federal government to charge ranchers to use the land that their families have been using for a hundred years? Is it right for the federal government to seize cattle from a rancher who refuses to pay these fines? In 2014 the Bundy family and hundreds of Patriot Bundy supporters answered these questions with a resounding "NO." In Up in Arms: How the Bundy Family Hijacked Federal Lands, Outfoxed the Federal Government, ...more
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Up in Arms follows the rise of the American Patriot Movement through the catalyst of the Bunkerville episode of Cliven Bundy who refused to pay for federal land fees on land he rented from the federal government. Temple wants to be sympathetic to the movement but even he has to admit that all it takes is one crazy person to go commit a mass shooting to undermine everything (which happens twice to people involved int his movement throughout the book). This book follows the lead up, time during an ...more
Elsa Hoffmann
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truth is stranger than fiction. It's also infinitely more amusing and sad at the same time. I remember seeing something vague about this on television but at that time South Africa had bad problems of its own.

It was a pleasure to read this and what is very interesting is that the offshoot of this particular stand off led to the killing of so many people in Las Vegas. I had wondered how that started, there is always a trigger that set people off.

This book, very well written, gives the reader a g
Patricia Mayne-Schlachtun
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: won
Very interesting read. I had no idea that the Federal government owned so much land in the western states. I could totally understand and sympathize with the Bundy's predicament and their feelings on the 1st Amendment. It's very scary how many of our rights are slowly being taken away and sadly most of us aren't even aware of it. I remember when the Bundy saga occurred, but didn't really know what it was about and didn't bother to learn about it at the time. This book opened my eyes to a lot of ...more
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John Temple is a veteran investigative journalist whose books illuminate significant issues in American life.
His forthcoming book, Up in Arms, details Cliven and Ammon Bundy's multiple standoffs with the federal government. It will appear in June 2019.
Temple’s last book, American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic, was named a New York Post

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