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Single Acts of Tyranny [Paperback]

Stuart Fairney
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Aug 2008
Single acts of tyranny is set in the current day, but pre-supposes the South won the American civil war and there are now, two Americas, Northern and Confederate. Its major theme looks at how the politicians rule us, and how a large, high-taxing, high regulating government, will impoverish, weaken and ultimately make its people into docile chattels of the ruling elite. Government we are told serves the people; in fact dominates them as totally as any Roman emperor. The book s heroine is a black woman called Halle du Bois. This is unusual in literature and frankly, overdue. She is a successful Southern banker of mixed race aged thirty-two. In this book, the Confederacy didn t abolish slavery until the nineteen-thirties, so black women can still face issues of racism in differing forms in the two countries. She is asked to negotiate a political treaty with the North. The villain of the piece is John Legree, a Boston Brahmin in his fifties. He is very much old money and is a political fixer come spin doctor, think of some of the Nu-Labour figures of the recent past. An influential figure in the Northern government, he is morally flawed, and degenerates throughout the book. He interacts with Halle during the trade treaty early in the book. They dislike each other and represent the extremes of each system that is explored. The third major character is James Emerson, a freelance journalist. He is an intelligent and confident individual, but something of an outsider, as he will not play-ball with the Northern government s media domination, despite living there. He and Halle develop a relationship. The principal thrust of the book looks at styles and themes of government and how this affects education, health and welfare, but it also explores issues of race as heroine is black, the challenges women face in commerce through a strong female lead character, female strength and sexuality, parental relationships and control of the media. The Northern government, as will become clear, is in fact a metaphor, for the current British governing and media elite; indeed the examples quoted, are verifiable facts from the modern British state. The Southern administration is the proposed antidote to it. The book is an indictment of the prevailing government structure regardless of which party happens to be in power. The title comes from a quote from Thomas Jefferson when he said Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day, but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing a people to slavery This strikes me as apt and I hope the book will change the way you think.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Milvian Books; First edition (30 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956001602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956001603
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 12.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,242,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, serious message 28 Oct 2008
This is a very readable book with an interesting message. On the surface it's a fast-paced twenty-first century novel of power, politics, love and intrigue, with believable characters that develop throughout the story. If that's all you get from it, it's worthwhile. But dig just below the surface and it makes some very profound points about the way we are governed and for me, this is the real worth of the book. You won't hear these points made in the mainstream media and if you agree with the radical viewpoint or not, you owe it to yourself to consider the propositions seriously. Also, if you know a leftie-liberal that you need to buy a gift for, buy this, it will have them tearing their hair out! Overall, a great read with a strong, uncompromising message.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Single Acts of Tyranny 6 Feb 2011
Although I tend not to read 'political' novels, once I started this one I couldn't put it down. It's a fast-paced story of political corruption with some very interesting characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In addition to being fast-paced and cracking story, Single acts of tyranny makes some genuinely important points about modern government and the elite who rule us. I could believe in the major characters all of whom elicit either empathy or contempt as the story develops (the villain is an absolute cracker) and there is sharp dialogue and some fantastic one-liners throughout the book. For sheer enjoyment alone the book is worth reading and the message is compelling. The word 'seminal' is probably over used in literature, but if you read one book this year, this should be it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Coming from the middle east, I've seen my fair share of incompetent, corrupt regimes and there is a western snobbery that says "our government is just" Well, if the expenses scandal has taught us anything, it's that NO government is trustworthy and we should limit their power and scope. This book explains how we could do that and be happier, better served, richer and more free without the the self-serving thieves in everything.

I loved the story and the politics doesn't overwhelm the plot or the really sharp dialogue. It's a brilliant book and it doesn't totally surprise me that the establishment publishers wouldn't pick this up. They want you to stay ignorant. Don't be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"With all the hoo-haa about MP's expenses at the moment this is a timely book. It describes an imaginary North American government, which is is obviously meant to be the real British equivalent. The author describes them as corrupt, greedy liars who oppress the people while feathering their own nests. Who could argue with that?

He goes on to show how we could be so much better off without them and how a tiny government that left us alone, would be a vast improvement on this lot. The book was written last year and yet it is uncannily accurate. If you hate what's going on and are looking for an alternative, read it, you might be pleasantly surprised as some of your most basic assumptions are challenged"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Single Acts of Tyranny - A Brilliant Read 14 May 2009
I thorougly enjoyed reading Single Acts of Tyranny as it was not only informative but a great read. The storyline became so interesting that I couldn't put the book down, I had to know what was going to happen next! I'm not very good when it comes to Politics but to me, the political themes in this book are very relevent to the recent political issues surrounding MPs excessive expense claims. I think this is an excellent first book from Mr. Fairney and I would recommend it to anyone whether they had an interest in this subject area or not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Antidote to Complacency 2 Feb 2009
This book is best approached primarily as a novel of ideas. As such it should be welcomed as a rarity in contemporary British fiction. Indeed, it is doubly welcome in that the ideas it presents challenge the cosy political consensus that blights the current literary and cultural Establishment. Like Philip K Dick in "The Man in the High Castle", Fairney uses a personal story set in a world in which history has taken a different turn to make points about the world in which we live. This alternative world is based on his answer to the familiar question, "What would have happened if the Confederacy had won the American Civil War?" This is credible, since the South came very close to winning, and the possibility has been considered by other counter-factual novelists, most notably Harry Turtledove. Fairney follows Turtledove's "Guns of the South" in suggesting that a victorious Confederacy would actually have abolished slavery very quickly - again, this is credible because an independent South would have had no choice but to come to terms with the truth that slavery, apart from anything else, is bad economics. He goes on to suggest that a voluntary end to slavery would have avoided the racial disharmony that followed Emancipation being forced on a resentful South. Most interesting of all is his projection of a historical fact that is often overlooked: the South was actually more committed to free trade than the industrial North, where protectionism was strong. From this Fairney concludes that the South was more likely to develop a truly libertarian culture than the North if only it had been able to resolve the question of slavery. That is a very big "if", but there are a lot of facts to back up his assumptions. Admirers of Ayn Rand will appreciate her obvious intellectual and literary influence - but with the advantage that Fairney's style is far more brisk and concise.
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