DOWNSIZE THIS! by Michael Moore


Random Threats from an Unarmed American
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 The man behind the popular documentary Roger and Me and the short-lived series TV Nation takes a stab at authorship--and at every conservative sacred cow available. Moore brings a uniformly predictable lefty perspective to a series of topics, including corporate downsizing of workforces, Bill Clinton's weakness in opposing the right wing, Congress's craven subjugation to special interests, NAFTA, white racism, anti-feminist hysteria, homophobia, and the demonization of welfare recipients. As in his film and video work, Moore is at his best when he leads the fuzzy-minded to the logical conclusions of their thought processes, for example, getting an anti-abortion activist to agree that male masturbation is a serious moral issue because life actually begins with the individual sperm. There is a good deal of useful political information spread through the book, including the names and deeds of a number of corporate executives and lobbyists whose power is seldom treated as critically as it should be by journalists. The humor is hit-and-miss, though, and readers who don't seethe along with Moore in his populist rage are likely to find the book as a whole tiresome. There's also a considerable amount of the nastiness that liberals decry among today's conservative polemicists, the low point being a suggestion to Bob Dole that he replace the pen with which he keeps his disabled right hand from closing in on itself with something more appropriate, such as a coathanger to symbolize his views on abortion. Moore might consider, as he passes judgment on the hypocrisy of our time, that a writer who can muse on his frequent exasperation with limousine drivers should refer to the working class as something other than ``we.'' (line drawings; b&w photos; map, not seen) (Author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1996
ISBN: 0-517-70739-X
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1996


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