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Thieves in High Places
book118 (2003) Book - $17.00 ($22.00 list)
From everyone's favorite friendly, fun, and fightin' populist, this beautiful hardcover identifies the kleptocrats of today's society! From the culprits in government to the boardroom to the big-box retail giants who are eviscerating our home towns and exploiting us as workers and consumers, this is an ultimately optimistic call-up from the progressive wing of the national political scene!

America listens to Jim Hightower. More than eighty thousand people subscribe to The Hightower Lowdown Newsletter while his radio show is aired on more than sixty public and commercial radio stations.

In "They've Stolen Our Country and It's Time To Take It Back", he takes on the Bushites, the Wobblycrats, and the corporate Kleptocrats, digging up behind-the-scenes dirt that the corporate media overlooks-like BushCo's "Friday Night Massacres," what's happened to our food, and the Bush plan for empire. But the book also offers grassroots solutions, drawing on Hightower's Rolling Thunder Down-Home Democracy Tour, a traveling festival of rebellion against every tentacle of the corporate-politico power grab. At kitchen tables all over America, Hightower has tapped into the thriving activist networks that are our country's grassroots muscle, and his book tells their uplifting stories of retaking control of their communities. This is the real America that the rest of the world doesn't get to see.

With his unique blend of wit and outrage, Jim Hightower "lights a prairie fire"-and it's just the spark that his growing national audience craves.


About the Author

National radio commentator, columnist, public speaker, political sparkplug and author of "If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates", Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be: consumers, working families, environmentalists, small business, and just-plain-folks.

Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left, but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top.

Known as "America's Most Popular Populist," Hightower is a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, spreading the message of progressive populism all across the American grassroots.

He broadcasts daily radio commentaries that are carried in more than 100 commercial and public stations, on the web, on Armed Forces Radio, Radio for Peace International, One World Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Each month, he publishes a populist political newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown," which now has more than 100,000 subscribers and is the fastest growing political publication in America. The hard-hitting Lowdown has received both the Alternative Press Award and the Independent Press Association Award for best national newsletter.

Constantly on the hustings, he delivers about 100 speeches a year to colleges, union meetings, environmental groups, citizen rallies, farm and food organizations, social justice gatherings, teachers, legal activists, community groups, and others.

His newspaper column is carried in more than 75 independent newspapers, magazines, and other publications. He is also a frequent contributor to The Nation, America's leading progressive journal.

A best-selling author, his latest book, "THIEVES IN HIGH PLACES: They've Stolen Our Country and Its Time to Take it Back" is published by Viking. His previous books are "If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates", "There's Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos", "Eat Your Heart Out", and "Hard Tomatoes, Hard Times".

He frequently appears on television and radio programs, bringing a passionate populist viewpoint that rarely gets into the mass media. In addition, he works closely with the alternative media, and in all of his work he keeps his ever-ready Texas humor up front, practicing the credo of an old Yugoslavian proverb: "You can fight the gods and still have fun."

Hightower also devotes much of his energy to revitalizing grassroots progressive politics with his nationwide "Rolling Thunder Down-Home Democracy Tour." Sort-of like a county fair of progressive activism, these festivals include top-notch speakers, great music, how-to workshops, food, drink, games, clowns & fun for the whole family. In 2002, the Rolling Thunder Tour traveled to Austin, Chicago, Tucson, Seattle, Minneapolis and Duluth. The Tour rolled on through 2003 into 2004 with the aim of becoming a permanent fixture on the American political landscape.

Hightower was raised in Denison, Texas, in a family of small business people, tenant farmers, and working folks. A graduate of the University of North Texas, he worked in Washington as legislative aide to Sen. Ralph Yarborough of Texas before returning to his home state, where he was editor of the feisty biweekly, The Texas Observer.

He then made what he calls "the only downward career move you can make from journalism" by entering politics. He was twice elected to statewide office, serving two productive and boisterous terms as Texas Agriculture Commissioner (1983-1991).

Since then, Hightower has become his own media conglomerate, using his writings and voice to reach millions of people a year, raising issues, raising hope and raising hell. Describing himself as a Luddite with a Website, Hightower provides updated information about his newsletter, radio commentaries, books, speaking schedule, and other work at

"Populist radio commentator, columnist and author Hightower (If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates) delivers a timely manifesto for progressives living in what he calls a nation ruled by "a confederacy of kleptocrats." In Hightower's view of the current political situation, "King George the W" reigns atop a greedy hierarchy of corporate-politico corruption in which many politicians have become no more than handmaidens of corporations and the super-rich. Devotees of Hightower's populist politics and his sardonic style will find much to admire"

- Publisher's Weekly

"Author, populist, and radio commentator Jim Hightower is nothing if not direct. In Thieves in High Places, Hightower lambastes the current American power structure and exhorts his readers to fight against it. Hightower's indignation runs deep in this "us versus them" exposť of corporate malfeasance, governmental abuse, the militarization of American society, and the Bush administration's empire building. In the first part of the book, Hightower illustrates how the Bush administration and Congress work with major corporations (including our nation's vast media conglomerates) to add to their obscene wealth at the expense of America's working class, our environment, and (most lamentably) our rights and liberties. "The elites have pulled off a slow-motion coup, radically wrenching America's power balance from a people's democracy to Kleptocrat Nation."

Hightower defines "Kleptocrat Nation" as "a body of people ruled by thieves...a government characterized by the practice of transferring money and power from the many to the few...[and] a ruling class of moneyed elites that usurps liberty, justice, sovereignty, and other, democratic rights from the people." His catalogue of corporate greed and governmental complicity is breathtaking in scope, and though he admits that the fusion of business and government is not new, he persuasively states that "never have so few done so much for so few." Unfortunately, Hightower's serious message is delivered in such a "down home" style, it may lose its impact on the more brainy among us. Also, one wishes there were more documentation for the copious examples and facts in the book. Still, Hightower's call to action is sincere, and his descriptions of the triumphs of average people over corporate power might give some fledgling activists some hope. Thieves in High Places urges Americans to reclaim control of our government--Hightower thinks we can with community organization and grass-roots movements. However, judging from his description of the current power structure, we are going to need all the help we can get."




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