Steal This Book

Infobox Book
name = Steal This Book
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption = Cover of "Steal this Book"
author = Abbie Hoffman
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series =
subject =
genre =
publisher = Pirate Editions
pub_date = 1971
english_pub_date =
media_type =
pages = 308
isbn = 1-56858-053-3
oclc =
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"Steal This Book" is a book written by Abbie Hoffman in 1970 and published in 1971.

Content

Advice on dissidence

The book includes advice on such topics as growing marijuana, starting a pirate radio station, living in a commune, stealing food, shoplifting, stealing credit cards, preparing a legal defense, making pipe bombs, and obtaining a free buffalo from the U.S. Department of the Interior. It discusses various tactics of fighting as well as giving a detailed list of affordable and easy ways to find weapons and armor that can be used in the event of a confrontation with law enforcement. The book advocates rebelling against authority in all forms, governmental and corporate.

The "Pig Empire"

In the book, Hoffman referred to the American Empire as the "Pig Empire", saying that it was not immoral to steal from the "Pig Empire"; in fact, Hoffman wrote, it was immoral "not" to do so. [cite book | last = Raskin | first = Jonah | title = For the Hell of It | publisher = University of California Press | location = Berkeley | year = 1996 | isbn = 0520213793 ] The term was picked up by the Yippie crowd, and was widely used by what became known as the "Woodstock Nation." [cite book | last = Harris | first = Randy | title = The Linguistics Wars | publisher = Oxford University Press | location = Oxford Oxfordshire | year = 1993 | isbn = 019509834X ]

Cultural response

The book's reflexive title is a classic example of Yippie culture jamming. Many bookstores refused to carry the book, because some patrons followed the advice of the book's title. [Cite book | last = Brate | first = Adam | title = Technomanifestos | chapter = 8 | publisher = Texere | month = June | year = 2002 | isbn = 1587991039 | url = http://books.google.com/books?id=sCQOAAAACAAJ] It is very hard to find in libraries for that same reason.

As the book ages, the specific information it contains has become largely obsolete, but the book captures the yippie zeitgeist.

On the success of the book, Hoffman was quoted as saying, "It's embarrassing when you try to overthrow the government and you wind up on the Best Seller's List." Hoffman would not respond to accusations that he had plagiarized the book, as published in a detailed article in "Rolling Stone" magazine (No. 92, 10 September 1971), entitled "How Abbie Hoffman Won My Heart and Stole "Steal This Book"." [Cite news | title = An Amerika Dream: A True Yippie's Sentimental Education or How Abbie Hoffman Won My Heart and Stole 'Steal This Book.' | last = Haber | first = Izak | publisher = Rolling Stone | date = 1971-09-30 | pages = 32 - 33]

As of 2006, the composition of a Wiki-based version of this work for a new generation was started. The project has been named [http://www.stealthiswiki.org/ "Steal This Wiki"] . An alpha version of the final product was compiled and released on July 4, 2007.

References in popular culture

Mona Simpson, hippie mother of Homer Simpson, is seen reading "Steal This Book" in an episode of "The Simpsons". In addition, "Steal This Book" is one of the banned books seen during a discussion in Bart Simpson's classroom in the "Simpsons" episode "The PTA Disbands".

Both The Coup and System of a Down released CDs titled "Steal this Album" in reference to this book. The band The Suicide Machines released a record called "Steal This Record". The band The Explosion has also created an EP simply called "Steal This" in response to attempts to sue.

The League of Noble Peers made a series of documentary films about pirating and sharing movies called "Steal This Film".

The website for the roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons has a series of articles called "Steal this Hook!" A footnote explains that Hoffman's book has nothing to do with Dungeons & Dragons, but that they stole the title anyway.

Zippo has also released a brushed-chrome lighter with "Steal This Lighter" engraved on the case.

In episode 205 "That Was Then, This Is Dumb" of the animated television show "Daria", Jake Morgendorffer talks to himself in a mirror, saying "Once you could fit all your worldly possessions into a backpack. Pair of jeans, a few T-shirts, a copy of "Steal This Book"."

In the late 1990s, Steal This Radio, a pirate radio station, operated at 88.7 FM in the Lower East Side of New York City. The station shut down in 1998.Cite news | title = No Static at All? | last = Kolker | first = Robert | date = 1999-02-22 | publisher = New York Magazine | url = http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/media/features/1203/] Cite web | title = Steal This Radio | publisher = MediaFilter.org | url = http://mediafilter.org/MFF/S38/S38.STR.html]

John Mendenhall compiled two collections of copyright-free clip art titled "Scan This Book" (1991) and "Scan This Book Two" (1996).

In 2000, Robert Greenwald directed a film based on Abbie Hoffman's life titled "Steal This Movie", starring Vincent D'Onofrio as Hoffman.

In 2004, Sean Curtis published the book "Steal This Book Too! An Historical and Philosophical Scrutiny of Humankind".

In 2005, Harlan Kilstein published "Steal This Book!: Million Dollar Sales Letters You Can Legally Steal to Suck in Cash Like a Vacuum on Steroids".

In 2007, the Ben and Jerry's ice cream company sent out a book of coupons called "Eat This Book."

Wallace Wang has published books named "Steal This Computer Book" (currently in its fourth edition) [http://www.amazon.com/dp/1593271050] and "Steal This Filesharing Book". [http://www.amazon.com/dp/159327050X]

In episode 22 of the situation comedy "Seinfeld" entitled "The Library", a monologue from "Bookman" the Library Cop, played by Phillip Baker Hall, details his earlier career and makes mention of Hoffman's prose. "Yeah, '71. That was my first year on the job. Bad year for libraries. Bad year for America. Hippies burning library cards, Abbie Hoffman telling everybody to steal books." [ [http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheLibrary.htm Seinfeld Lists - The Library ] ]

Bibliographical data

"Steal This Book"

* Written by Abbie Hoffman
* "Co-conspirator": Izack Haber
* "Accessories after the fact": Tom Forcade and Bert Cohen
* Published by Pirate Editions (New York)
* Distributed by Grove Press
* Year of publication: 1971
* 308 pages +xii, illustrations, bibliography [ [http://catnyp.nypl.org CATNYP: New York Public Library online catalog] ]

25th anniversary edition - ISBN 1-56858-053-3

References

External links

* [http://www.eriswerks.org/steal.html Steal This Book]
* [http://tenant.net/Community/steal/steal.html Authorized online location]
* [http://www.skipwilliamson.com/ originally Illustrated by Skip Williamson]
* [http://wiki.stealthiswiki.org/wiki/Main_Page]


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