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For instance, there's this guy who had just returned the day before from his
honeymoon. That night, on September 10, his new bride thought she'd make him her
special homemade burrito. The burrito was horrible, like eating tar stripped off
the center line of the Major Deegan expressway. But love ignores all of that and
what counts is the gesture, not the digestion. He told her how grateful he was
and how much he loved her. And he asked for another.
The next morning, September 11, 2001, he's on the subway from Brooklyn to his
job on one of the top floors of the World Trade Center. The subway might have
been heading to Manhattan, but the burrito was heading south, and I don't mean
the Jersey shore. He starts to get sick, real sick, and decides to get off just
one stop before the World Trade Center. He runs up the subway stairs in a
desperate search for facilities. But this is New York and that was not to be.
And thus, on the corner of Park Row and Broadway, he became a poster boy for
Embarrassed and humiliated-but feeling much better!-he flagged down a gypsy cab
and offered him a hundred dollars to take him home ($9 for the ride, and $91
toward the price of a new car).
When the man got home, he ran inside to take a shower and to put on a new set of
clothes so he could get back to Manhattan. Coming out of the shower he flipped
on the TV and, as he stood there, he watched the plane slam right into the floor
where he worked, where he would have been right now had his loving wife not made
him that wonderful-that absolutely perfectly incredible amazing ... He broke
down and began to cry.
My own 9/11 story wasn't so close a call. I was asleep in Santa Monica. The
phone rang around 6:30 a.m. and it was my mother-in- law. "New York is under
attack!" is what I heard her say through my half-awake ear. I wanted to say,
"Yeah so what's new- and it's 6:30 in the morning!"
"New York is at war," she continued. This made no sense other than, again, it
always feels like war in New York. "Turn on the TV," she said. And so I did. I
woke up my wife and as the television faded on there were the towers, on fire.
We tried to call our daughter back home in New York, no luck, then tried to call
our friend Joanne (who works near the World Trade Center), no luck, and then we
just sat there stunned. We didn't leave the bed or the TV until five that
afternoon when we finally found out that our daughter and Joanne were okay.
But a line producer we had just worked with, Bill Weems, was not okay. As the
networks started to run a scroll along the bottom of the TV with the names of
those who were on the planes, along came Bill's name on that screen. My last
memory of him was the two of us horsing around at a funeral home where we were
shooting a piece about the tobacco industry. Put two guys with a dark sense of
humor around a bunch of undertakers and you've got what we would call nirvana.
Three months later he was dead and-how do they say it?-"life as we knew it
Really? Did it? How has it changed? Is there enough distance from that tragic
day to ask that question and find an intelligent answer? Things certainly
changed for Bill's wife and his seven-year-old daughter. There's the crime,
right there, to have her daddy taken from her at such a young age. And life
changed for the loved ones of the other 3,000 who were murdered. They will never
lose the sorrow they feel. They are told that they "must move on." Move on to
where? Those of us who have lost someone (and I guess that's eventually
everyone) know that while life does "move on," the sock in the gut, the sorrow
in the heart, will never leave, so ways must be found to embrace it and make it
work for you and the living.
Somehow we all work our way through our own personal losses and we get up the
next morning and the morning after that and fix the kids' breakfast and do
another load of laundry and pay the bills and ...
Meanwhile, in faraway Washington, D.C., life is changing, too. Taking advantage
of our grief, and our fear that "it" may happen again, an appointed president
uses the dead of 9/11 as a convenient cover, a justification, for permanently
altering our American way of life. Is that why they died, so that George W. Bush
can turn the country into Texas? We've already conducted two wars since 9/11,
and an upcoming third or a fourth is not all that unlikely. If this is allowed
to continue, then all we will have accomplished is to dishonor those 3,000-plus
dead. I know Bill Weems didn't die so he could be used as an excuse to bomb
innocents overseas. If his death, his life, is to have a greater meaning from
this moment forward, it is to make sure that no one else like him will have to
lose his or her life in this insane, violent world, a world we now seem
hell-bent on running any way we damn well please.
I'm lucky, I guess, that I even get to write these words you are reading. Not
just because I get to live in the most wonderfulest country in the whole wide
world!, but because after 9/11, my former publisher, Regan Books (a division of
HarperCollins which is a division of the News Corp which owns Fox News and it's
all owned by Rupert Murdoch), was trying its hardest to make sure my career as
an author would come to an early end.
The first 50,000 copies of Stupid White Men came off the printing press the day
before 9/11, but when the tragedy struck the next morning, the trucks that would
carry them to the nation's bookstores never left the loading dock. The publisher
then held the books hostage for five long months-not simply out of good taste
and respect (which I might have been able to understand), but out of a desire to
censor me and the things I wanted to say. They insisted I rewrite up to 50
percent of the book and that I remove sections that they found offensive to our
leader, Mr. Bush.
I refused to change a word. A standoff ensued until a librarian in New Jersey
heard me talking about the phone call I had just received from the Murdoch
publisher telling me that it looked as if they had no choice, thanks to my
stubbornness, but to "pulp" and recycle all 50,000 copies of my book that were
gathering dust in a warehouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I also was told by
others not to expect much in the way of a book career after this, as word would
spread that I was considered "trouble," a royal pain in the ass who wouldn't
This librarian, Ann Sparanese, a woman I did not know, sent out an e-mail to a
list of librarians, telling them that my book was being banned. Her letter shot
around the Internet and, within days, letters from angry librarians were
flooding Regan Books. I got a call from the Murdoch police.
"What did you tell the librarians?" "Huh? I don't know any librarians." "Yes you
do! You told them about what we are doing with your book and now ... we're
getting hate mail from librarians!" "Hmm," I replied, "I guess that's one
terrorist group you don't want to mess with."
Fearing there would soon be a crazed mob of wild librarians storming down Fifth
Avenue and surrounding the HarperCollins building, refusing to leave until
either my book was liberated from the Scranton warehouse or Murdoch himself was
drawn and quartered (though I would have settled for making Bill O'Reilly wear
his underwear on his head for a week), the News Corp surrendered.
They dumped my book in some bookstores with no advertising, no reviews, and the
offer of a three-city tour: Arlington! Denver! Somewhere in New Jersey! In other
words, the book was sent to the gallows for a quick and painless death. It's too
bad you wouldn't listen to us, one Murdoch operative told me, we were only
trying to help you. The country is behind George W. Bush and it is
intellectually dishonest of you not to rewrite your book and admit that he has
done a good job since 9/11. You are out of touch with the American people, and
your book will now suffer as a result of it.
I was so out of touch with my fellow Americans that, within hours after the
book's release, it went to number one on Amazon- and within five days it had
gone to its ninth printing. It's in its fifty-second printing as I write this.
The worst thing to tell a free people in a country that's still mostly free is
that they are not allowed to read something. That I was able to be heard-and
that my book would go on to be the number-one selling nonfiction hardcover book
of the year in the United States-screams volumes about this great country. The
people will not be intimidated and they will not be bullied by those in charge.
The American people may look like they don't know what's going on half the time,
and they may spend too much time picking out different-colored covers for their
cell phones, but when push comes to shove, they'll rise to the occasion and be
there for what is right.
So here I am now with this new book at none other than AOLTIMEWARNER and Warner
Books. I know, I know, when will I learn my lesson? But here's the good news.
During the entire time I've been writing this book, AOL has been trying to get
rid of Warner Books. Why would a media company want to get rid of its book
division? What did Warner Books do to upset the gods of AOL? I figure if AOL
wants to dump these guys, they have to be okay. Plus, the other Warner folks in
this tangled web-Warner Bros. Pictures-are the people who distributed my first
film, Roger & Me. They were good and decent and they never threatened to "pulp
Okay, I'm rationalizing. Six media companies own everything. Break up these
monopolies for the good of the country! The free flow of news and information in
a democracy must not be in the hands of just a few rich men.
Yet, I have to say, they seem to be behind me here 100 percent. 1000 percent!!
Not once have they said I was "trouble." But then, It's not me they really need
to worry about. IT's the librarians. And you.
Excerpted from DUDE, WHERE'S MY COUNTRY
by Michael Moore
Copyright © 2003 by Michael Moore.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted January 4, 2009
In "Dude, wheres my country?" Moore does a great job of spilling out the actual truth of the past scandals with bush and corporote buisness, etc.<BR/>Throughout the book his casual yet very informative style of writing helps the reader understand issues alot better. Though the book is about mostly the wrongs of the country, Moore does a great job of keeping the reader entertained with his humorous antics, such as the letter from god.<BR/>Overall, it's a good read.
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Posted October 25, 2008
Michael Moore does a fantastic job of grabbing peoples attention and letting them know what's really going on. In Dude, Where's My Country he writes about George W. Bush and the myriad of lies he's told to the American people. He talks about liberals and conservatives and what those terms really mean. This book contains a letter from God denying being the messenger of Bush, how to get Oprah Winfrey to run for President and an illustration of a form for a Direct Deposit of Tax Refund of $1 Million or More. What I like about Michael Moore is his sense of humor. He never loses sight of the lighter side of things. He points out what's wrong with this country but not in a cynical way. He shows us what to do to change what we don't like. Michael Moore knows how to relate to the average American and it comes through in his writing.
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Posted June 13, 2014
Posted August 23, 2012
Sup people im trying too find my way around im ne wto this whole chatting world where can i go to talk with people not wherewolvesbor cats + i cant headlines so if u can put ur name in the review box tht would b cool ~alliWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 5, 2012
Posted March 4, 2006
Micheal moore is a very encouraged man. I think, most people are to anxious to tell there opiniion. Most people also won´t read the patriot act and then ask the republicans for it.A brave book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2005
With the same wit as Stuipid White Men Moore doesn't again to show what kind of president we really have. If you liked Stuipid White Men I think you will like this. If you are a Bush supporter this is definitely not for you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 10, 2004
Dude, Michael Moore's country was the USSR, which fouled the bedsheets about 15 years ago. Michael (along with the Hollywood/Media/Clinton crowd)is spitting mad that the USA was not able to be delivered to Marxism before that philosophy took a swan dive. He's still fighting the good, if losing, fight, however, which is why I give this work 3 stars for effort.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 20, 2004
Posted October 4, 2004
I don't see why any of you people like this book. I sincerly think that Mr. Moore is trying to brainwash and destroy this country. I read this book so I can get inside a liberal's head. What a mistake. He dosen't even do the research. He has a team of fact finders do it for him. And if he's so smart, I don't see why he won't debate Sean Hannity, one of the best talk show hosts out there. Moore is barely a writer and this is barely a book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 2, 2004
Posted June 25, 2004
I am far to the left politically, but I would like to make a suggestion to those on the political right who seek to gain some insight into leftist politics by reading this book. It probably won't happen. Moore's books are more to provoke the reader into discovering the truth on one's own. At least that's what I hope happens (that's what has happened when I have read his works). Do not take everything Moore writes at face value. It is not an accurate portrayal of leftist thought. Some individuals I know who have read both this book and Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them recommend the latter because it is more meticulously researched and footnoted (though I have not read it). So, my suggestion to those of the political right is to read Al Franken's book also to gain some insight into the minds of your political opponents.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 26, 2004
I loved this book and found that it gave me a lot of information that I missed during his film 'Fahrenheit 9/11'. It is informative, very well researched and written, and frequently funny. The chapter with the letter from God alone is worth reading the book. Any voter who has not yet made up his or her mind, should definitely read this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 11, 2004
This is an excellent book, alternately (I hope I've used that word right) hilarious, inspiring, chilling, and outrageous. Yes, Michael Moore does use sensationalism and shock-value and even some occasional spin-doctoring, but, hey, who doesn't? Who hasn't? The end (waking people up and getting the right information and message to the public) more than justifies the means (name-calling, sarcasm, and making fun of McDonalds--I don't care how fattening their food is, in small doses, it tastes great). In this book, Mr. Moore is even commendably fair to conservative end of the political spectrum, which is more than can be said for many conservatives active in the political-medial scene. Whether you're right, left, or just a confused middle-of-the-roader, you should read this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 13, 2004
Great book with excellent insights. I have been a Bush supporter since his election, but this book paired with his movie, has opened my eyes to reality. I am very frightened for the future of our countryWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 16, 2004
I consider myself a fairly conservative polical thinker. I picked up this book with the intention to try and understand the liberals perspective. Really what I came away with is that Michael Moore is full of extreme conspiracy theories. Between all his ranting and raving about Bush trying to take over the world and comparing our presidency to Hitler, Moore blessed us with fake dreams about the future without plastic and electricity and tried to convince us that he represents the voice of the people killed on 9/11. The only part of the book that I thought was enlightening was when he talked about Bush and his cabinets oil ties and interest in the middle east. On the whole, this book was very disappointing. Don't read unless it is the last resort.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2004
'Dude Where's My Country' was pretty good, but it definitely didn't feel as good of a read as 'Stupid White Men', also by Michael Moore. 'Dude' was a lot shorter, and it failed to totally surprise me and astonish me as 'White Men' did. I also still don't understand how and why Michael Moore managed to write a page and a half about why Oprah should run for president... Read it if you're bored and have nothing better to read. However, definitely not a must-read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 8, 2004
It surprises me that so many people forget think anti-American sentiments occured over these four short years, or even the years during Bush Sr.'s term. I have interviewed many in foreign countries with anti-American feelings and found that much of it has little to do with the corporate corruption here or just WHO the president is. Much of this hatred of Americans comes from first-hand experience that is passed along to friends and families. People need to remember that when they are visiting in foreign countries, they represent the entire United States and new stereotypes can and will be formed in accordance with their actions.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 21, 2004
This book provides great insight as to the causes of Anti American hatred around the world. Lets face it the MAJORITY of people in this world love American people and hate American foreign policy.Eventually this will lead to outright hatred of American citizens if we don't see through the lies.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 18, 2004
For far to long our country has relied on labels to classify people. Liberal, right-wing, black, white, everyone has to have a label, it makes us more comfortable. But if we just look at each other as humans sharing a planet things become a lot different. We all breathe the same air. We all want the best for our families. We all die. This book shows that some people who are still into making sure that they are the most powerful and rich (more labels) will do anything to keep that club a very small and private one. Michael sometimes goes to far in trying to create humor, but always tries to uncover the truth.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.