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Patriots Paperback – 2 Jul 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press; Original edition (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156975599X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569755990
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 428,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

James Wesley, Rawles has been an enthusiastic survivalist since his teenage years. He is now a survivalist author and lecturer and the editor of www.SurvivalBlog.com. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Jose State University with minor degrees in military science, history, and military history. A former U.S. Army intelligence officer who held a Top Secret security clearance (with Special Background Investigation) and access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), he was awarded Officer specialty 35A (tactical all-source intelligence officer), and the additional skill identifier 5M (electronic warfare officer). He achieved the rank of Captain, attended the Army NBC defense officer's course, as well as Northern Warfare School at Fort Greeley, Alaska.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rawles starts us out on an interesting, if somewhat unrealistic, end of the world survivalist concept, and this provides the real strength of the book. If one can put aside the fact that to prepare for the end of the world like Rawles "Group" is far beyond the financial means of most folks, the preparation material is quite good, providing fairly detailed information in an entertaining manner. For this reason alone I recommend the text. It is later in the book, when Rawles begins pandering to every known New World Order/anti-government conspiracy theory that the book begins to lose its appeal, along with a somewhat over-moralistic tone that is grating at times. For example, the author continually talks about individual freedom, but seems to think it OK for his "Group" members to stop and search anybody that passes along the roadway close to their retreat, engaging in summary executions of other survivors without trials, and so on. And one must question the true survivalist mindset in many of the scenarios, where ammunition is wasted to no gain, shooting dozens of rounds into one person, for example. Patriots is worth a reading, but take it with a rather large grain of salt.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spoiler alert...

I originally bought this book for my Kindle some time ago and recently bought the paperback for a friends birthday, and while I loved parts of this book, others just brought it down.

Based in the Northwestern US during a socialeconomic collapse of society, a group of friends who met mostly in University come together at a survival retreat in Idaho to ride it out. The first half of the book covers what led to the collapse, the groups travels from their mostly Chicago based homes to the homestead and their actions in dealing with looters, refugees and other scenarios that might occur, such as a blocked septic tank and medical emergencies. Rawls has done well in a lot of area with plenty of details on numerous topics from weapons and tactics, healthcare and emergency first aid, communications, vehicle mechanics and domestic security. But some areas aren't quite so interesting, some are plain boring and others outright confusing.

Some of the issues include the massive array of detail he puts into discussing firearms, some details fine but he went somewhat overboard at places, how the first contact with communists includes them being cannibals, how someone who wasn't a health care professional was able to perform, in effect, complicated surgery and able to safely medicate patients. There's the constant mention of the groups mostly Christian belief (we don't need to be reminded every 10-15 minutes), and even when an agnostic is introduced, he's converted to Christianity following his wife's deaf (guess their God didn't see that coming).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Patriots' is supposed to be a classic of survivalist literature. It's also been described as a `survival manual disguised as a book'. I found it to be neither.

The story is about a group that had set up a retreat so survive a `the end of the world as we know it' scenario. For the purposes of the book `the crunch' comes as an economic collapse of the US and much of the remainder of the civilised world. The book has a strong anti-socialism theme; the author explains that the collapse of the US was caused by the government running up a huge debt by allowing members of society to free-load. According to the author everyone should work or starve.

The first half of the book covers the members of `the group' making their way to the retreat, how they adjust to a more primitive lifestyle and defend themselves from aggressors. While the author goes into a little more detail on some of the survival aspects than might be strictly necessary I didn't feel it was a `manual for survival'.

Some areas are unrealistic, the group has been preparing for years and has hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition stored but didn't see a need to ensure there were sufficient sleeping quarters for everyone! Given that before the crunch they all spent a few weeks a year at the retreat preparing, training and storing equipment I fail to see how the sleeping arrangements couldn't have been already sorted!

The author is clearly a `gun nut'. No one simply "carries a gun", we have to hear what type of gun, length of barrel, type of clip, number of rounds, what sort of ammunition it's loaded with, type of gun sight and holster. Unless you're also obsessed with guns this gets a little boring after a while.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It has taken me months to wade through this book - but I didn't think that I could legitimately review it without having completed the task. For me, the best part of the book was the description of the economic breakdown which leads to the post apocalyptic scenario. Whilst not wholly convincing, it has the merit of being topical and is thought provoking. From then on I felt that the book went downhill. If you are obsessed with guns and want a detailed list of armaments and ammunition, this is the book for you. However, as the sort of hording of guns which Rawles recommends is impossible in the UK it is not very relevant here. The irony of the book is that the protagonists seem to lack the essential personal traits which would probably mark out survivors in a real post-apocalypse scenario - for example, adaptability. The post-apocalypse is tailor-made for the survivalist who has amassed a barrow load of guns and is prepared to shoot first and think - well, never. Had there been plague-type PA scenario these people would have been at a loss as to how to deal with the need for flexibility and co-operation.
For me the weakest part of the book was the one dimensional and unrealistic depiction of people. The good guys are overwhelmingly Christian, the bad guys are cannibals, rapists, drunkards and, of course, poor soldiers. The depiction of the two men with communist sympathies (cannibals) verges on the comical. Somehow we are meant to accept the fact that, because only the select elite are good, it is all right for them to kill so many without any compunction and to relish the body-count.
In the end I was left with the feeling that this book is one man's personal fantasy of the world he would actually like to wake up to.
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