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WHY BOTHER? $12

GREAT AMERICAN REPAIR MANUAL $15

GREAT AMERICAN
POLITICAL REPAIR MANUAL

Featured in Utne Reader
and on All Things Considered

Published by W.W. Norton, New York & London.

"Smith's book is a toolbox for hacking a corrupt system. It is also funny as hell . . . There are butts that need kicking in this country. . . Sam Smith is handing out the boots." -- Alex Steffen, The Stranger, Seattle weekly

"Must read. . . combines laughter and trenchant critique to a degree seldom seen" -- John Rensenbrink, Green Horizons

"The Tom Paine of the Nineties" -- Chuck Stone

"Truly independent journalist" -- Patrick Mazza, Cascadia Times

"Phenomenally interesting. . . I recommend it highly" -- Michelle Laxalt, co-host of Newsmakers

"You'll be enlightened, challenged, even entertained" -- Chuck Harder on the Talk America Network.

"Lucid . . . Keep going, Sam" -- Mario Cuomo

"Desperately needed" -- Roger Morris, author of Partners in Power

WHY BOTHER?
Getting a life
in a locked-down land

AN UTNE READER STAFF PICK

A POWELL'S BOOKSTORE STAFF PICK

WORKING ASSETS
RECOMMENDED READIN
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Introduction to Why Bother

Why Bother, in a wonderfully engaging and erudite manner, addresses the great question confronting democracy, community and justice -- and that is civic motivation. Prepare to be motivated. Sam Smith is an antidote to mindless speed reading. He makes you pause between paragraphs in order to mull over the captivating morsels he is placing in your imagination. - RALPH NADER

Sam Smith puts it to us straight in these essays about finding meaning and hope - JAY WALJASPER, UTNE READER

An American original. . . He's got a big old cussed independent streak that keeps you guessing and hence keeps you reading. - CRISPIN SARTWELL

The alienated young, the over-worked 30-something, the free-thinking 40 year-old, the downsized 55-year-old worker, the senior who society has put out to pasture are all part of an America that finds itself a fugitive from the law of averages -- the tens of millions who don't fit the media-driven stereotype of a booming, contented country. Living in a culture that has reduced their role to that of compliance and consumption, these Americans increasingly react with anger, anxiety or apathy.

In this highly readable short book, journalist and social critic Sam Smith takes on this crisis not as a political issue but as a personal one: how does the individual survive in such a place? Drawing from a wealth of sources and experience ranging from philosophy and anthropology to the Internet and rock zines, from Kierkegaard and Camus to Humphrey Bogart and Rage Against the Machine, Smith confronts directly despair and survival, approaches to personal rebellion, speaking truth to power, suicide and false faith, the loss of democracy, and what to do when nobody cares whether you do it or not.

This is no glib self-help book, but rather a brutally honest exploration by someone who, as an alternative journalist for more than three decades, has repeatedly been out of step with his time and culture. Yet beneath the direct, honest language is a love letter to the individual, freedom, and life itself.

Smith writes: "Hectored, treated, advised, instructed, and compelled at every turn, history's subjects may falter, lose heart, courage, or sense of direction. The larger society is then quick to blame, to translate survival systems of the weak into pathologies, and to indict as neurotic clear recognition of the human condition. The safest defense against this is apathy, ignorance, or surrender. Adopt any of these strategies -- don't care, don't know or don't do -- and you will, in all likelihood, be considered normal. The only problem is that you will miss out on much of your life."